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Statistical Press Release – Research and Development (R&D) 2012 Figures

Stormont Executive press release - Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment

A National Statistics press release, detailing the latest Research and Development (R&D) 2012 figures has been published today by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

 It can be accessed via: http://www.detini.gov.uk/deti-stats-index/stats-surveys/stats-research-development.htm

Main Results: 

• Northern Ireland saw the highest ever Research and Development (R&D) expenditure in 2012. Investment was up by 10% in cash terms, also equating to an 8% real terms rise. 

• Total R&D investment rose from £567.5 million in 2011 to £624.1 million in cash terms in 2012. 

• Of the £624.1 million spent on total R&D, £461.3 million (74%) was spent by Businesses, £147.3 million (24%) by the Higher Education sector and the remainder was Government expenditure. 

• Over the year total Business R&D expenditure increased in cash terms by £72.5 million (19% to £461.3 million). There was also an increase of £1.1 million (8%) in Government expenditure (to £15.5 million). Higher Education R&D expenditure, however, decreased by £17 million (-10%) to £147.3 million over the same period. 

Northern Ireland Business R&D expenditure 

• Business R&D expenditure in 2012 is the highest on record for Northern Ireland. Between 2007 and 2012, overall Business R&D expenditure increased by 149% in cash terms (from £185.1 million to £461.3 million). 

• Northern Ireland Businesses’ (in–house) R&D expenditure has shown the second highest percentage annual increase (19%) of the UK regions, with a rise in R&D investment from £352 million in 2011 to £420 million in 2012. 

• Companies with ownership outside Northern Ireland continue to play an important role in financing R&D. Such externally owned companies accounted for 78% of expenditure compared with 22% by locally owned companies. R&D expenditure by locally owned companies increased by 1% (£1.1million) over the year compared to an increase of nearly 25% (£71.4million) by externally-owned companies. 

Small and Medium-sized Enterprises 

• Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs - enterprises with less than 250 employees) accounted for 38% of Business R&D expenditure. Total R&D expenditure for SMEs increased by £32.1 million (23%) from 2011 to 2012, in cash terms. Since 2007 it has increased by 47% to £172.8 million. 

• Northern Ireland is also dependent on a relatively small number of companies for a significant proportion of R&D expenditure. The ten biggest spending companies accounted for 63% of the total R&D spend in Northern Ireland in 2012, slightly higher than in 2011 (62%). 

UK Regional Comparisons 

• Of the 12 UK regions, nine showed an increase in in-house business R&D expenditure in cash terms over the period 2011 to 2012. Northern Ireland Businesses’ (in–house) R&D expenditure has shown the second highest percentage annual increase (19.3%) of the UK regions, with a rise in R&D investment from £352 million in 2011 to £420 million in 2012. In-house R&D expenditure for the UK as a whole decreased by 2.1% over the year. 

• The Northern Ireland in-house business R&D expenditure as a proportion of Gross Value Added (GVA) (1.4%) was the sixth highest of the twelve UK regions based on 2011 Regional GVA data published by the Office for National Statistics on 12th December 2012. The corresponding figure for the UK was 1.3%. In 2007, the Northern Ireland figure was 0.6%. 


R&D changes in real prices 

• In real price terms, total R&D expenditure rose by £47.1 million (8%). Business R&D expenditure rose by £66.0 million (17%), Higher Education R&D expenditure fell by £19.8 million (-12%) and Government expenditure rose by £0.9m (6%) over the year. 

Please note that R&D expenditure may vary from year to year due to the influence of one or two large-scale projects, especially where there is significant capital expenditure.

In-house R&D refers to all R&D that a business has undertaken in the reporting period either for itself or for a customer. This is the total cost of R&D conducted by the business regardless of the source of funds or their treatment within their business accounts. This includes all purchased services and materials which supports the in-house R&D that the business performs.

Notes to editors: 

1. For further information – full detailed results will be available in the Research & Development Statistics Bulletin, which will be published on 30 December 2013 at the following website: http://www.detini.gov.uk/deti-stats-index/stats-surveys/stats-research-development.htm

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