The NI R&D Survey provides R&D employment figures for both R&D expenditure carried out by businesses, the higher education sector and government. The number of R&D employees has increased every year since 2007 and is currently 7,955, up 13% on last year.
Figures are on a Full Time Equivalent basis – this provides a better indication of total labour input than a simple headcount. Employment figures for R&D carried out within the Government sector are gathered by ONS – ad hoc request from NISRA was made.
The R&D Survey measures all known expenditure carried out by businesses, higher education and government. There was an increase in spend by businesses during 2015 and expenditure is now 57% higher than it was five years ago. The NI Executive Innovation Strategy has set a target to have business expenditure on R&D to be 1.8% of total GVA. Despite a dip in performance in 2014, the rate bounced back to record the joint highest ever rate of 1.5%
The UK regional breakdown includes only intramural expenditure. Figures up to 2012 are sourced from the UK R&D Survey, but figures from 2013 onwards are from the NI R&D Survey. All figures are in cash terms.
Business Expenditure on R&D as a percentage of Total GVA
The NI R&D Survey provides a breakdown of BERD by business size and whether businesses are locally or externally owned. The amount of money invested in R&D by locally owned companies increased by almost 40% in 2015 alone.