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Industry leaders make case for public spending on innovation

Public spending on innovation needs to increase if the UK government is to meet its target of increasing total R&D spending to 2.4 per cent of GDP by 2027, industry leaders have told MPs.

Felicity Burch, director of innovation and digital at the employers’ group the CBI, told the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 18 December that the government’s target of 2.4 per cent was ambitious. She called on the Treasury to increase public spending on innovation.

“We have had R&D spending at about 1.7 per cent for about 30 years now, so moving the dial towards 2.4 per cent is clearly a challenge for the UK economy,” she said, speaking at a hearing for the committee’s inquiry into the balance of research funding.

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