In its study Assessing the business performance effects of engagement with publicly-funded science, the Enterprise Research Centre (ERC) tracked R&D grants to nearly 15,000 firms worth £8 billion over a 13-year period, including grants from Innovate UK.

Their main findings were that, across all grant recipients:

  • employment grew by 6% in the short-term and 23% in the longer-term (after 6 years)
  • turnover grew by 6% in the short term, and 28% in the longer term
  • an estimated 150,000 new jobs were created, many in highly-skilled sectors such as biotechnology, medical equipment, engineering, life sciences and high-tech manufacturing
  • productivity grew by 6% in the longer term.

Innovate UK Deputy Chief Executive Kevin Baughan welcomed the research, saying that it "highlights the strong, positive impact that public research and innovation grants are having on UK businesses, and on the wider UK economy".

An extra £2 billion a year for research and development is available, taking total spending to £4.7 billion. This will be partly funnelled through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, which aims to tackle large societal challenges facing the UK and support high-growth sectors.

The study also found that the biggest growth in both employment and turnover was with manufacturing firms, and that the largest investments occurred in the ‘golden triangle’ of London, Cambridge and Oxford (although more recently the highest level of investment per number of businesses was in the North East and the West Midlands).

Oakdene Hollins is proud to be part of this good news story: our Monitoring Officers oversee Innovate UK funded projects to make sure that they are delivered on time and on budget.