Businesses have spent £2bn more on research and development this year, according to figures published by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).
The DTI’s 2006 R&D Scoreboard showed investment in research and development at UK companies is currently £19.2bn compared with the £17bn reported in the 2005 scoreboard.
About two-thirds of this substantial increase was down to companies in sectors such as banks, insurance, media and retail disclosing their research and development budgets for the first time, the DTI said.
The remaining one-third of the increased spend reflected a 4% increase in R&D spending and resources by the top 800 UK companies compared with the previous year, the DTI added.
Science and innovation minister Lord Sainsbury said: “This year’s scoreboard confirms again that R&D plays a key part in business success and demonstrates the ever-widening relevance of innovation, and the R&D that goes into its creation, for companies large and small.
“The UK is an attractive location for R&D activities and companies are increasingly recognising the benefits of the UK as a productive environment for R&D investment.”