SPERI Paper No.6 ‘The UK’s Innovation Deficit & How to Repair it’

SPERI Paper No.6. has now been published. The latest in the series – The UK’s Innovation Deficit & How to Repair it – is by Richard Jones, Professor of Physics and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Research and Innovation, here at the University of Sheffield.

In the paper Richard highlights some concerning data about the UK’s poor investment record in research and innovation. You can read the abstract and download the paper free below.


The UK’s economy is much less research and development (R&D) intensive than it was thirty years ago, and it is now significantly less R&D intensive than other developed economies.  This paper argues that this decline, primarily in applied research carried out in the private sector and in government funded strategic research, represents an important loss of the UK’s innovative capacity, is a direct consequence of recent changes in its political economy, and reflects in a highly developed form more general worldwide trends.  The need for radical innovations in the material and biological realms is highlighted, for example, by the challenges of developing competitively priced low-carbon energy sources, and in caring for ageing populations in a cost effective way.  If the UK is to play its part in meeting these challenges, and if it is to develop a new, sustainable basis for long-term economic growth, this loss of innovative capacity needs to be reversed.

Download the paper

SPERI Paper No.6 – The UK’s Innovation Deficit and How to Repair it (PDF 1131KB)