Rolls-Royce tops pile for innovation funding

Rolls-Royce has received the most innovation funding of any UK company over the last 18 years, according to new research.

The firm, which has its civil aerospace and defence businesses in Derby, was awarded £689 million in funding by Innovate UK – equivalent to £38.2 million a year – according to data compiled by R&D tax credit company GovGrant.

The figure is more than four times the amount any other company received for their innovation projects, and accounts for 7% of all funding awarded by Innovate UK.

A fresh injection of funding recently saw Rolls-Royce commit to creating an extra 200 apprenticeships each year, for at least the next 10 years, at its new Nuclear Skills Academy, which opened last month.

Luke Hamm, chief executive at GovGrant, said: “Rolls-Royce is a compelling success story, and it highlights the vital role that innovation funding plays in supporting local economies, and could contribute to the wider ‘levelling up’ agenda if targeted correctly.

“Innovation awards for Rolls-Royce are clearly contributing to the wider UK economy by financing training academies, filling the country’s talent pool with highly skilled people.

“It’s extraordinary that Rolls-Royce has received 11.73% of all Innovate UK funding to commercial entities, which is a huge sum to be awarded to one company.

“This either underlines the importance of collaboration and the role large organisations play in our innovation economy or brings into question whether the funding process is a level playing field for smaller businesses.

“However, I’m sure there are instances of SMEs local to Rolls-Royce locations – and collaborators across the UK – who experience a trickle-down effect from this funding.”

Credit: Marketing Derby