The road to three percent

Gene editing, space tourism, self-driving vehicles, robotic limbs, floating farms, London to Sydney in four hours. Game-changing innovations like these will shape the course of the next decade. Many will improve lives across the globe.

With evolving innovations, new technologies, and developing expertise, businesses and governments everywhere are working to tackle many of today’s greatest challenges. Already new energy technologies are reducing the UK’s carbon emissions, UK-developed vaccines are preventing deaths around the world, and healthcare innovations have the potential to save the NHS millions of pounds.

The current pace of change in technology is unrivalled and individuals, companies, and governments are under pressure to keep up.

Here in the UK our position as world leaders in science and innovation is at risk.

That’s why in a new report, we call for a commitment to spending 3% of GDP on R&D by 2025 – a joint target to be met by the private sector and government. UK innovation spending is currently at 1.7% of GDP, well below the spending of many international rivals. South Korea spends 4.3%, Sweden 3.3% and Germany 2.9%, to name just three.

In The Road To 3%, we set out 5 areas where business and government must improve to reach this goal:

  • public funding and incentives
  • culture and skills
  • collaboration
  • regulation and intellectual property
  • public services procurement