The Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, an annual report published by the European Commission, was compiled using company information from Bureau van Dijk. The research is based on the top-2500 industrial players from around the world—accounting for 90% of total business-funded R&D—with an increased combined spend of 8.3% from last year, to €736.4 billion.
Although companies in the EU have increased their spending on R&D for the 8th consecutive year with a 5.5% increase, businesses in the US and China have shown greater increases at 9% and 20%, respectively.
"The scoreboard is a timely reminder of Europe’s strengths and weaknesses in the world of corporate R&D," said Carlos Moedas, commissioner for research, science and innovation, in a published statement. "EU companies are leading the global technology race in strategic industrial sectors such as automobiles, pharma or aeronautics. But we come up short in the deep-tech areas that are shaping the next wave of innovation, such as artificial intelligence or new materials. That's where the future European Innovation Council will play an important role, investing in companies with high risk and scaling-up potential that can create new markets."
The top sectors with growth in R&D include:
- Information and communications technology (ICT) services – 13%
- ICT producers – 11%
- Health – 7.7%
The report shows that growth of R&D investment correlates with a rise in most financial indicators including profits and employment.
Lower increases for R&D investment were attributed to sectors including industrials (3.3%) and aerospace & defence (-4.3%).
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