R&D reaps rewards

The 16th annual edition of the DTI’s R&D scoreboard shows some of the benefits to be obtained by investing in R&D

Co-author Dr Mike Tubbs, senior industrialist at the DTI Business Finance and Investment Unit, introduced it with the words: “This year has been a good year for R&D.” As usual, some companies have done better than others, and there is a big difference in what different countries specialise in. The UK, for example, put its biggest R&D effort into pharmaceuticals followed by “other” and aerospace, while the biggest R&D investment in South Korea was in electronics, and in Germany, it went into automotive. In these latter cases, a negligible amount went into aerospace. Fast-growing, profitable R&D-intensive UK companies included: ARM (mobile phone chip design), CSR (pictured, winning Innovation & Design Excellece Awards), Wolfson (an Edinburgh chip maker), Sondex (oil services) and Dyson. Profitabilities were 15-23%. Dyson had an R&D intensity of 4.6% on £426 million sales. Exports from the region were 48% despite off-shoring much of its manufacturing. The top UK company in the aerospace and defence sector was BAE Systems which invested 13.2% of sales in R&D and achieved a profit of 8.1% of sales.