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Pharmaceutical giants driving UK R&D business

by LLB Reporter
20th Feb 20 6:39 am

The latest research by R&D tax credit specialists, RIFT Research and Development Ltd, has revealed which UK companies are driving business forward in their respective sectors through research and development.

RIFT looked at which global nations are home to the biggest average R&D spend as a proportion of revenue based on the companies located there that feature in the Strategy and Global Innovation Top 1000,  a round-up of the biggest and most innovative companies involved in R&D worldwide.

Switzerland currently leads the way with the Swiss companies featuring in the list averaging the highest R&D spend of 8.4% of total revenue on an annual basis.

The US ranks second with R&D expenses accounting for 6.9% of total revenue, with Australia third (6.4%), Swede fourth (6.3%) and Germany taking the fifth spot with 4.6%.

The UK comes in at a respectable seventh with the R&D spend of these companies accounting for 3.6% of revenue, but who are the big names driving the UK’s domestic R&D endeavors?

RIFT then looked at which names appearing in the list of most innovative R&D companies are based in the UK to see who was committing to the biggest R&D in relation to their revenue.

The frontrunners are quite notably based within the pharmaceuticals sector with GW Pharmaceuticals Plc plowing a huge £115m into the research and development of their company, products and sector, accounting for 1,349.9% of their total revenue for the year.

Circassia Pharmaceuticals Plc is the UK’s second biggest R&D spender having committed an annual spend of £101m to research and development, 210.4% of its annual revenue.

These are the only two companies in the list to see R&D spend far exceed annual revenue with enterprise software multinational, Atlassian Corporation Plc, ranking third with an R&D spend totalling 67.9% of their annual revenue.

Micro Focus International, BTG, Sophos Group, AstraZeneca, Dialog Semiconductor, Travelport Worldwide Limited and GlaxoSmithKline also rank as some of the UK’s biggest names in R&D spend, committing upwards of 15% of annual revenue to research and development in their sectors.

Director of RIFT Research and Development Limited, Sarah Collins said, “Research and development has become a big business and this is demonstrated by some of the huge spends across some of the biggest companies operating in the UK.

“However, while certain names are helping drive R&D within the UK at the very highest level, we still have some way to go before we catch the national frontrunners elsewhere around the world.

“The great thing about R&D is that claims aren’t limited to these giants and regardless of how established your company is, any work done to progress your sector can qualify and help push the UK to the top of the table.”

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