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05 Dec 2014

EU company investment in R&D needs to increase

On Thursday, 4 December 2014, the European Commission published the 2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, which analyses the top 2,500 companies worldwide, representing around 90% of total business R&D expenditure. According to the Investment Scoreboard, companies based in the EU increased their R&D investment by 2.6% in 2013, despite the difficult economic environment. However, this growth has been much slower than in 2012 (6.8%) and is below the 2013 world average (4.9%), as well as below the investment level in the US (5%) and Japan (5.5%).

In total, EU-based companies (633) invested €162.4 billion in 2013, US-based companies (804) €193.7 billion, and Japanese companies (387) €85.6 billion.

One quarter of the total R&D investments by EU scoreboard companies is accounted for by the automobile sector, with a 6.2% increase, while high-tech sectors such as pharmaceuticals or technology hardware and equipment have experienced weaker growth and lowered the overall average of R&D investment in Europe.

EU-based company R&D investment is spread unevenly across Europe: 97% of the total R&D investment is by companies based in 10 countries, with Germany, France and the UK accounting for more than two thirds of the total.

Carlos Moedas, Commissioner for Research, Science and Innovation said: "Despite the harsh economic climate, EU companies continue to invest in R&D. That is good news, but more is needed to keep up with our competitors. With public resources limited, attracting private R&D investment is even more essential. Horizon 2020 is already engaging more businesses than ever before, but now we're ready to step up our game. The EUR 315 billion investment plan presented by the Commission and European Investment Bank will help to raise more private investment for riskier projects, benefiting R&D across Europe."

For more information:

2014 EU Survey on Industrial R&D Investment trends (download):

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