Almost a third of ICT businesses in the West Midlands region are engaging in research and development (R&D) to carve out a competitive edge during the downturn, according to a survey by the West Midlands ICT cluster.
West Midlands ICT cluster represents the interests of the region’s ICT business community. It discovered that almost 500 businesses (33 per cent) in the region are still investing in technology R&D. In total 1,503 companies were surveyed, ranging from ICT consultancies to software design, new media and e-commerce.
Mike Musson, ICT cluster manager at Advantage West Midlands, said: “It is encouraging that so many firms across the heart of England are still determined to invest in research and development, even though budgets are being squeezed in this economic climate.
“As demonstrated by the ICT businesses surveyed, niche market enterprise is key to growth during a downturn. Our survey also highlights how the region is home to many innovative companies that are pushing ahead to deliver exciting new products and services that customers would struggle to find elsewhere.”
Of those surveyed, 72 per cent of the respondents were small businesses with ten or fewer employees, and 19 per cent had just one employee. Of the businesses, 56 per cent claim to have been active for at least ten years.
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