Instrumental success for UK

UK companies operating in the sensing and instrumentation market expect to increase their R&D spend by an average of 10 per cent


The Sensors and Instrumentation Knowledge Transfer Network has released initial results from an ongoing survey being carried out among the industrial members of its 1500-strong network.



It reveals that UK companies operating in the multi-billion pound sensing and instrumentation market expect to increase their spend on research by an average of 10 per cent in the coming 12 months.



The survey also reveals that much of this money will continue to be spent on outsourcing research to third parties or partnering with them, and that the majority of these are expected to be academic institutions.



The results demonstrate that the UK sensing and instrumentation community is working to grow its share of this market and expand its role as a source for economic productivity by increasing the transfer of ideas and knowledge between academia and industry.



‘This a £25bn European market of which the UK already holds a 30 per cent share,’ said Simon Aliwell, director of the Sensors and Instrumentation KTN. ‘The key to growing this share is how well we can harness the innovative thinking of the academic community and transfer their ideas into real products and services.



‘This survey shows we are moving in the right direction and that companies are pushing hard to grow and develop, but there is always more to do,’ added Aliwell. ‘The KTN is constantly evaluating new ways to deliver successful partnerships across this community to bring academia and industry together. That is one of the reasons this network exists.’



The survey, whose respondents represent more than 10,000 UK employees, was carried out in preparation for a recent KTN workshop in London to identify more ways to achieve successful partnerships between industry and academia, and how to address the different agendas which can emerge.


Fifty seven per cent of respondents said they expected to increase their research budgets during the next 12 months. Three quarters of respondents said they would outsource this responsibility and 71 per cent of these organisations believe that universities will be their partners during the next year.

The survey will now continue and be expanded to involve academic as well as industrial KTN members to broaden the trends identified.