Gross expenditure on research and development Scotland 2021

The latest Gross Expenditure on R&D (GERD) statistics, which present information on research and development performed in Scotland in 2021.

Key Points

  • Gross Expenditure on Research & Development (GERD) spend in Scotland was estimated at £5,033 million in 2021, an increase of 4.9% on 2020. UK GERD increased by 7.0% over the same period 
  • estimated at 2.98% in 2021, Scotland’s GERD as a share of GDP was above that of the OECD (2.71%) and the EU (2.15%)
  • the largest components of R&D expenditure were the business sector at £3,121 million (62.0% of Scotland’s GERD), followed by the higher education sector at £1,650 million (32.8% of Scotland’s GERD)
  • Scotland’s Higher Education R&D (HERD) expenditure as a share of GDP ranked top of the OECD countries in 2021
  • the methodology used to produce estimates of R&D performed in the business (BERD) and higher education (HERD) sectors was improved in our GERD Scotland 2020 publication; estimates in this release have been compiled using those improved methodologies. Note that there is still uncertainty around the robustness of the new BERD estimates for Scotland


For enquiries about this publication please contact:

Marina Curran

Business & Innovation Statistics

Office of the Chief Economic Adviser



For general enquiries about Scottish Government statistics please contact:

Office of the Chief Statistician


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