Our other sites
Today's newsletter | Register | Subscribe | Feedback
Hamish Champ is the editor of PRW. When not doinghis day job he finds time to ride his motorcycle, listen to Deep Purple and take his 12 year-old son to the cinema/park/football/pub...

Who's who in the ONS' R&D Top 10?

Posted on 24 November 2015

Much is being made these days of the need for companies to invest in their operations, and particularly in research and development (R&D).

The ONS' R&D expenditure graph shows pharmaceuticlas in top spot for the past seven years

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) recently published data that showed how R&D spending in current prices rose 6% last year to £19.9bn, compared with 2013.

The ONS illustrated its latest data with a graph showing sector expenditure between 2007 and 2014, ranked highest to lowest. I've reproduced it here but you can see a larger – and frankly more readable – version on page five of this document.

It should perhaps come as little surprise that with the scale of profits to be made in the industry the pharmaceutical sector has consistently occupied the top spot for the past seven years, with expenditure on R&D in 2014 coming in at a whopping £3.9bn.

What is a surprise, perhaps, is the movements of the other nine sectors in the top 10, none of which ended 2014 in the same slot as they began 2007. Some have been in the same place for a while, while others have leaped up and down the rankings.

Computer programming, IT and other related services has held the second spot from 2010 to 2014, and given the demand for new technologies this is understandable.

Meanwhile motor vehicles and parts has occupied third place since 2011, and with the surge in activity across the UK’s automotive sector this is no surprise.

The sector was sixth in the R&D expenditure rankings in 2007, pausing only for breath at number five in 2008 and 2009, when the industry was in the post-financial crisis doldrums, before rising to third place in 2011, where it has stayed ever since.

In terms of movement within the top 10 perhaps the most interesting sectors are chemicals and chemical products and consumer electronics and communications equipment.

The chemicals industry often highlights how it is an export leader and at the forefront of so much that we take for granted both in industry and in wider society, so it is interesting to see how its R&D profile has ebbed and flowed.

Similarly the consumer electronics sector; the appetite for new products would lead one to assume that R&D spend would be consistent – and consistently high. True, a figure approaching £1bn is not small beer by any means.

But I’m still surprised to see it down at number eight in the R&D spend Top 10.

Recent Columns

20 November 2015

Site Index [ + ]
Site Index [ - ]
Home:  PRW.com | Contact editorial | Contact advertising | Features List 2015 | About us
End Markets:  Automotive | Packaging | Construction | Medical | Consumer Products | Rubber
Processes:  Injection moulding | Blow moulding | Extrusion | Thermoforming
Supplier News:  Machinery | Materials | Recycling | Moulds | Design
Polymer Prices:  LME prices | Market outlooks | Resin selector
Industry Issues:  Environment | Regulation Competitiveness
Plastics Knowledge:  Knowledge Bank
Comment:  Champ Chat | Editorials | Business features
People:  Movers & Shakers
PRW Business Directory:  Directory
Classifieds:  Jobs | Classifieds
View:  Mobile | Desktop
Our Events:  PDM | Conferences
Industry Awards:  Industry Awards
Diary: Diary
Advertise with PRW
Subscribe:  PRW print | E-mail products
Reprints:  Reprints
List Rental:  List Rental
Crain Communications:  Crain Communications | Crain Publications

Entire contents copyright 2015 by Crain Communications Inc.
All rights reserved Terms and Conditions  Privacy Policy
PRW Business Directory
Plastics & Rubber Weekly and PRW.com are published by Crain Communications Ltd (registered in England & Wales No. 01576350).
Registered Office: 100 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6JA, United Kingdom.