The productivity of the Welsh economy – as measured by GVA per head – is the lowest in the UK.
Expenditure on Research and Development (R&D) per person in Wales is also strikingly low; given the role R&D has in driving innovation and productivity growth, these facts are likely to be connected.
This is a reflection of the wider tendency of public spending on R&D in the UK to be highly geographically imbalanced, as discussed in Richard Jones’s recent NESTA paper, with Tom Forth, “The Missing £4 billion: making R&D work for the whole UK”.
With the UK government’s stated intention to increase public R&D intensity substantially, there is an opportunity to begin to correct these imbalances. This needs to be done in a way which maximises the benefits public R&D can bring, both in driving economic growth, and in supporting strategic imperatives such as the transition to a zero-carbon energy economy.
National government agencies need to work together with the Welsh Government and other stakeholders to co-create the research strategy Wales needs, to build on existing strengths and create new research capacity.
Join us to learn more about the opportunities for R&D strategy and capacity building in Wales, in the context of the BEIS R&D roadmap in this virtual lecture by Prof Richard Jones FRS.