According to business consultancy Rousseau Associates, the rate of investment by UK businesses into R&D, a key driver of innovation, is a fifth lower than the EU average.Figures show that expenditure on R&D by the UK business enterprise sector is just 1.05 per cent of GDP, compared to 1.29 per centacross the EU as a whole. UK business spending on R&D, which is down from 1.06 per cent of GDP ten years ago, is well below that of Finland, which has the highest business spending on R&D as a percentage of GDP of any EU country at 2.29 per cent – followed by Sweden at 2.19 per cent. Businesses in Germany and Denmark both spend 1.99 per cent of GDP on R&D, with the percentage in both countries’ increasing over the last decade, from 1.74 per cent of GDP in Denmark, and 1.72 per cent of GDP in Germany. Rousseau Associates said the UK is in danger of falling behind EU rivals with businesses not fully appreciating the benefits of R&D spending such as improved margins from developing more innovative and competitive products. It said UK-based SMEs, in particular, need to invest more. These figures reveal that as proportion of total GDP, British businesses are not investing in research and development to the same extent as many other leading European economies. Read more about R&D in the UK:
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