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Science investment yields substantial returns 25.07.14

BIS report examines rate of return to public investment in science and innovation

A report commissioned by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has concluded that public investment in science and innovation yields substantial private and social returns in the UK.

The mean private rates of return to R&D investments were evaluated as being 30%, whereas social returns were typically seen to be 2 to 3 times larger. The authors of the report compiled these results on the basis of a thorough literature review, as well as original econometric analyses and a number of case studies in the field.

They also stressed the importance of intangible forms of investment into science and innovation, including computer software and databases, costs of licensing and copyright, and investments in organisational capital and structure.

The report concludes with a suggestion that future work be carried out to measure the full impact of scientific investment on the quality of health, education, national security and the efficiency of public service delivery.

Read the full report here