UK aerospace industry grows R&D spend

Posted on 12 Dec 2019 and read 798 times
UK aerospace industry grows R&D spend The UK aerospace industry has grown its R&D spending by more than any other sector, according to the latest ONS data for 2018.

This shows that its spend increased by £210 million (a rise of 14%), taking the total R&D spend by aero-space businesses to £1.7 billion.

However, analysis by R&D tax relief specialist Catax shows that the sector is still some way off the industry’s high of £2.2 billion (set in 2005); it also shows that while the sector’s R&D investment bottomed out at £1.4 billion in 2010 and 2011, it recovered to £1.9 billion in 2016, before dipping again to £1.5 billion in 2017.

The amount that UK businesses across all sectors have invested in R&D continues to grow, rising by £1.4 billion to £25 billion in 2018.

Manufacturing was associated with £16.3 billion of R&D spending (up 4.7%), but pharmaceuticals remained the biggest product group, with £4.5 billion of R&D spending (up 3.3%).

The largest percentage increase in R&D was achieved by the telecoms sector, with a 25.4% increase to £947 million.

Catax chief executive Mark Tighe (www.catax.com) said: “The aerospace industry has ‘flown over the head’ of software development to become the sector posting the biggest absolute gains in R&D spending.

"This will go some way to silencing many doubters who try to paint the nation as being ‘on the back foot’.

"This is a global industry with a very international focus . . . and the rate at which UK businesses are adding R&D staff to the workforce remains impressive, virtually matching the previous year with a rise of 7.3%.”

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