In the past 12 months European Union companies have significantly increased research and development (R&D) investments, rising above the world's average growth rate.
This is one of the main findings of the 2017 Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, published last week by the European Commission and compiled using company information published by Bureau van Dijk.
Analysis shows that R&D investment increased by 5.8% over the previous year across the world but that the average increase of companies headquartered in the EU was 7%.
The Scoreboard comprises the 2,500 companies investing the largest sums in R&D in the world in 2016/17. Based in 43 countries, these companies each invested over €24m for a total of €741.6bn, roughly 90% of the world's business-funded R&D. They include: 567 EU-based companies, accounting for 26% of the total; 822 in the US at 39%; 365 in Japan (14%); 376 in China (8%): and 13% in the rest of the world.
Carlos Moedas, commissioner for research, science and innovation at the Commission, said: "The Scoreboard shows that EU companies continue to be major players in R&D investment, accounting for more than a quarter of the world's total. But to stay ahead in the global innovation race, Europe needs to ensure that new companies join the ranks of top players. This is why we will support the very best innovations through the European Innovation Council pilot under Horizon 2020, our research and innovation programme."
More findings are summarised on the Commission's website or you can download a PDF of the full report.