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Northern Ireland Business Expenditure in R&D Continues to Rise

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Northern Ireland Business Expenditure in R&D Continues to Rise

Northern Ireland Business Expenditure in R&D Continues to Rise
December 03
09:32 2018

The 2017 Research and Development Statistical Bulletin on R&D expenditure by businesses in Northern Ireland shows a 4 per cent rise on 2016, and 20 per cent on five years ago. The report also shows an increase in the number of businesses investing in R&D, which has risen to 900 companies [1].

Welcoming the positive figures released by NISRA, Alastair Hamilton, CEO of Invest Northern Ireland, said: “Increasing business expenditure on research and development (BERD) is one of our three Business Strategy outcomes. These figures are our first measure of progress towards this output. The £18.9 million increase in BERD [2] from 2016 to 2017 represents nearly 12 per cent progress against our five year target. While the increase is positive we clearly still have some way to go to realise the £160 million increase we are working towards.

“The report also shows positive increases in expenditure by SMEs, up £43 million. Even more impressive is that this investment has increased by 75 per cent since 2012. This is where support programmes, such as our Innovation Voucher, are helping smaller businesses invest in innovative practices that will improve their business’ competitiveness.”

The NISRA report also showed that nearly 83 per cent of businesses engaged in R&D in 2017 were locally owned, and that expenditure by these businesses increased by nearly 11 per cent between 2016 and 2017.

  1. The total number of companies spending on R&D has increased from 748 in 2016 to 900 in 2017.
  2. An increase of £18.9m (3.6%) in Business expenditure to £542.8m in cash terms.

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