Not a single small or medium-sized business in the UK sought financial support for R&D in the six months leading up to August this year.
Their absence was revealed in the 24 October UK SME business barometer, part of a survey series published by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Each survey consists of some 500 interviews with owners and managers of such companies in the UK.
The survey showed that 16 per cent of SMEs applied for external finance during the survey period. This was a five per cent drop since the previous barometer survey in February 2011.
Of the companies that did seek financial support—mostly bank loans—not a single business asked for money for R&D. The corresponding figure in the February survey was six per cent.
Most companies asked for money to acquire equipment or as working capital.