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UK R&D spend amongst technology companies increased in 2009

The 72 technology hardware and equipment developers amongst the top 1000 UK companies spent £1.067billion on R&D in 2009, a 2.1% increase over the previous year, according to the Government's R&D Scoreboard. This compares to an overall decrease of 0.6% across all industries.
However, the UK's R&D performance on a global basis continues to lag its competitors. While global R&D intensity – the percentage of revenues applied to R&D – was found to be 3.6%, UK industry invested just 1.7%.

Globally, R&D investment by the top 1000 companies declined by 1.9% to £344bn, with six countries – the US, Japan, Germany, France, Switzerland and the UK – responsible for 82% of this.
David Willetts, minister of state for science and innovation, said: "Many of our leading companies are well positioned to seize opportunities as the economic climate improves."
The only technology hardware and equipment company appearing in the top 25 UK spenders is Nokia, which invested £197million in 2009; a 34% increase over 2008. This boosted its rank from 24 in 2008 to 20 in 2009. However, ARM featured in the list of those with the biggest increase in R&D spend, boosting its budget by £28m in 2009.
Globally, Nokia remained the leading technology based R&D spender, with a budget of £4.4bn. However, this was 6% less than in 2008. Other big technology R&D spenders included Intel (£3.5bn) and Cisco Systems (£3.225bn).
But the R&D Scoreboard has fallen victim to Government spending cuts and will not be published in the future. "However," said Willetts, "let this not prevent other potential sponsors from coming forward to ensure the continued publication of the Scoreboard."

Graham Pitcher

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