Research briefing: Could increased R&D investment raise local growth rates across the UK?

The government hopes that by increasing UK investment in research and development (R&D) from 1.7% of GDP to 2.4% by 2027, it can boost UK economic growth—both nationally and at a local level. In this Research Briefing we assess whether this strategy is justified—and how much R&D investment really matters to the future of local areas that are missing out.

What you'll learn:

  • R&D is very localised. Out of 40 local economies that make up the UK, just three account for over a quarter of all its R&D investment.
  • Location, strength in R&D intensive sectors and the presence of an elite university are factors that favour high R&D spending.
  • The number of local areas in the UK where an R&D-led economic growth strategy is likely to work is probably quite limited.

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