The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international forum which promotes democracy and the market economy, and provides a way to compare and coordinate economic policies across developed countries. According to OECD data, in 2016, the UK spent 1.6% of GDP in research and development (R&D), against an average of 2.4% in developed countries. Current UK R&D investment is funding innovation and technology projects, from energy to robotics. This is a pledge to raise gross R&D investment to the OECD average.
In November 2017, the government launched its Industrial Strategy, announcing that total R&D investment will be raised to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, with a focus on supporting research in artificial intelligence, data science, clean growth, mobility and elderly care. Nevertheless, the latest OECD data, covering 2017, reveals that gross R&D investment remains at 1.6% of GDP
The government is funding innovation projects across a range of policy areas, and you can check progress on those here on Policy Tracker! However, with an objective set for 2027, it’s important to acknowledge that this is a manifesto promise which it is literally impossible for this government to fulfil in its term of office. That said, to meet the OECD average will require an increase in R&D investment over the period 2017-2027. As yet, there is no evidence of any increase, so for now we’re giving this a status of ‘not started’. We’ll keep tracking the OECD data releases, so follow this policy for updates.
Invest in the details!
- Breaking down the latest research and development statistics – Innovate UK
- Investing in UK Research and Development – The Royal Society
- Game-changing ideas for civil aerospace: apply for funding – Gov.uk
- United Kingdom – OECD Data