This page is now archived. It is based on HMRC statistics 2018 – released in October 2018.
Source HMRC R&D tax credits statistics 2018
Due to the nature of the scheme, returns for the latest financial year reported (2016-17) can still be submitted past the cut-off date for the publication of these figures. As a result data for 2016-17 is not yet complete. To avoid misleading comparisons between years HMRC have compared the years 2015-16 to 2014-15 in their publication when discussing change between years, and 2016-17 when discussing in-year characteristics.
These sectors continued to have the greatest volume of claims, making up a total of 71% of claims and 75% of the total amount claimed
R&D claims are concentrated in companies with a registered office in London, the South East or the East of England 45% of all claims and 60% of the total amount claimed
Based on government office region
Amount claimed £(m)
Average claim value for SMEs
Regional allocation is based on the postcode of the company’s registered address, which might not correspond to where the R&D activity takes place, so caution must be exercised when interpreting these figures. Figures exclude claims where region is not known. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 and amounts are rounded to the nearest £5m.
Number of claims
Amount claimed £(m)
Average claim value for
This coding might not correspond to the industry sector of the R&D activity, so caution must be exercised when interpreting these figures. Figures exclude claims where industry sector is not known. Numbers are rounded to the nearest 5 and amounts are rounded to the nearest £5m. Where the number of claims is less than 5, or the value of claims is less than £5m we have excluded that sector from our results. This is the case for the Mining & Quarrying and Public Administration, Defence and Social Services sectors.
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R&D is the lifeblood of economic growth, and the government’s tax credits scheme has undoubtedly proved its value as an R&D stimulus. I’d like to see the number of claims made each year double. This would really move the needle for UK innovation.
If we want to be a future destination of choice for inward investment, our R&D targets need to be much more ambitious.
The UK is good at inventing things but not so good at supporting them. I’d like the government to do more to protect companies that get patents.
With Brexit on the Horizon, it is imperative that household names globally recognize the UK as a destination of choice for innovation.