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Business: Research

Question for Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

UIN 49677, tabled on 20 May 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the effect of a potential recession after the covid-19 lockdown on business investment in research and development.

Answered on

8 June 2020

My Rt. Hon. Friend the Secretary of State has regular discussions with my Rt. Hon. Friend Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer on all aspects of the economy, including research and development and Covid-19.

During the Financial Crisis, R&D performed in businesses in the UK fell in 2008 by 2% (after taking account of inflation) and by a further 3% in 2009. By 2011 it had recovered to levels above those in 2007, and in 2018 was more than 30% higher than in 2007.

The Government is supporting businesses to continue research and development through this crisis. We recently announced £750 million of investment, delivered through Innovate UK, in new measures to support innovation in the country’s most research-intensive businesses both during and after the coronavirus pandemic, and to support new ways of dealing with global disruption. Details on this package are available online at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/access-coronovirus-business-innovation-support-package.

This is in addition to our existing plans to significantly boost public R&D funding and our ambition to reach 2.4% of GDP spent on R&D by 2027.