Strength in research and development

Higher education research spend tops UK rankings.

Scotland’s higher education research and development (HERD) spend is at its highest level since records began, rising 3.3% to £1,092 million in 2015, statistics released today show.

The Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) Scotland 2015 publication shows that Scotland’s HERD spend as percentage of GDP was the highest of the 12 countries and regions in the UK and fourth highest in the OECD.

The GERD publication also shows an overall increase of £23 million – 1.1% in real terms - in total research and development spending in Scotland compared to the previous year.

The figures also demonstrate R&D expenditure by businesses in Scotland rose by 41% in real terms since 2007, compared to a 17% increase in UK expenditure over the same period. 

Minister for Higher Education Shirley-Anne Somerville said:

“Today’s publication further underlines both the value of research and development by our higher education institutions and it’s strengthen both internationally and within the UK.

“The Scottish Government continues to invest in the development and application of research and technology across the sector. This includes supporting the network of eight Innovation Centres, which use academic expertise to address real world business issues, backed by up to £120 million funding from the Scottish Funding Council.

“We want to support innovation and to help companies thrive. Earlier this year we announced a new Innovation Action Plan to ensure even more firms can realise their ambitions for growth and further enhance Scotland’s global reputation for invention.”


Read the Gross Expenditure on Research and Development Scotland 2015 report


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