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Ministerial Foreword 2010

David Willetts
Minister of State for Science and Innovation

David Willetts

Although the global economic downturn was at its worst in 2009, the latest Scoreboard shows that R&D investment by the top 1,000 UK R&D-performing companies was only slightly lower than in 2008.

Investment was, in fact, 0.6% lower, totalling £25.3 billion. This compares favourably with investment by top companies in the US (-5%), France (-4%) Germany (-3%) and Sweden (-8%).

The Scoreboard case studies demonstrate how innovation enables UK companies to remain competitive. Many of our leading companies are well-positioned to seize opportunities as the economic climate improves.

For its part, the Government will create an environment in which business can flourish and can exploit the excellence of the UK research base. We are committed to delivering the most competitive corporate tax regime in Europe, and HM Treasury will be consulting business on taxation of intellectual property, R&D tax credits and the proposals contained in James Dysonís review (Ingenious Britain).

This is the 20th and final Scoreboard to be sponsored by the Government. While this useful tool has helped us to track progress on investment, both domestically and overseas, todayís companies better understand the importance of R&D to their long-term success. At the same time, unprecedented financial pressures have made it necessary to reduce public spending. However, let this not prevent other potential sponsors from coming forward to ensure the continued publication of the Scoreboard.