Gross expenditure on research and development Scotland 2020

The latest Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) statistics, which present information on research and development performed in Scotland in 2020.

This document is part of a collection

This annual publication presents information on research and development (R&D) undertaken by businesses, higher education, government and private non-profit sectors in Scotland in 2020, as well as revisions to published data for 2018 and 2019.  The majority of data in this publication are sourced from surveys conducted by the Office of National Statistics (ONS). Further information about Scottish R&D activity and the full set of tables can be found at the Scottish Government's R&D statistics homepage.

Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) comprises R&D undertaken by the Business Enterprise (BERD), Higher Education (HERD), Government (GovERD) and Private Non-Profit (PNP) sectors.

Note that all values in this release are in current prices and have not been adjusted for inflation.

Key points

  • GERD spend in Scotland was estimated at £4,795 million in 2020, an increase of £58 million since 2019 and £189 million since 2018, which is the first data period produced using a new methodology for the BERD component
  • the methodology used to produce the BERD spend estimates has been improved to better represent smaller businesses. However, there is currently uncertainty around the robustness of the estimates for Scotland
  • GERD represented an estimated 3.13% of Scottish GDP in 2020


For enquiries about this publication please contact:

Marina Curran

Business & Innovation Statistics

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser

e-mail: or


For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics please contact:

Office of the Chief Statistician

Telephone: 0131 244 0442


Back to top