The Business Expenditure on R&D Survey (BERD)

The Business Expenditure on Research and Development is an annual survey providing information on total Research and Development expenditure in the UK by business enterprises; total Research and Development employment, and sources of funds.
The BERD is a sample-based survey, drawn from the IDBR. Since 1995, the BERD survey has used a stratified random sample, stratified by Product Group and employment size-band. In the first stage of the sampling procedure the largest 400 firms are chosen; these companies have either been identified as R&D active from previous returns or from another data source. There are a number of sources that contribute towards the sampling frame for the BERD. The ABI business survey asks a filter question about whether or not a firm engages in R&D. The NI Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment and the Scottish Executive provide ONS with R&D information on companies. These 400 firms are then sent a long form.

The sampling frame covers all industries. For those firms not receiving a long form, they are broken down in to the remaining two employment size-bands. Enterprises are then selected randomly from each size band using the sampling fractions applicable to that band. Those identified are then sent a short form. For non-selected firms, data is imputed on the basis that these enterprises have the same R&D to employment ratio as selected reporting units in their class.

The Reporting Units surveyed receive either a ‘long form’ or ‘short form’. The long form asks for information on:

• in-house expenditure on Research and Development:

• current expenditure broken down by basic research; applied research; and experimental research

• capital expenditure broken down by land and buildings; and plant and machinery

• Research and Development commissioned outside the company

• number of employees working on Research and Development broken down by scientists and engineers; technicians; others.

Smaller firms receive a short form. This only asks for a breakdown of Research and Development by civil and defence for three questions. It requests aggregate figures for Intra-mural Research and Development (i.e., work within the organisation including both current and capital expenditure), purchasing of Research and Development (work conducted outside the company, funded by the business) and average employment on Research and Development (number of full time equivalents).
The BERD survey has been conducted since 1994 and is an annual survey covering approximately 3,500 – 26,000 businesses.