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01 Dec 2016

EU companies' R&D investment grows faster than global and US trends

The 2016 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, published on 1 December 2016 by the European Commission, shows that EU companies invested €188.3bn in Research & Development (R&D) in the fiscal year 2015/2016. This constitutes an annual increase of 7.5% which puts EU companies ahead of the global (6.6%) and US (5.9%) trends.

Global industrial R&D investment reached €696bn worldwide, with sectors such as software, IT, pharmaceuticals and automobiles fostering R&D investments and sales. Overall sales, however, declined 3.6% worldwide, mostly due to the performance of low-tech sectors, particularly oil and mining, which suffered from low commodity prices.

30 EU companies are among the world's top 100 R&D investors, mainly in the fields of automobiles, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology, ICT, and aerospace and defence. The top investors are based in Germany (€69.8bn), France (€28.5bn), the UK (€28.2bn) and the Netherlands (€14.1bn).

Asian companies showed the highest increases in R&D, especially those based in China (up by 24.7% to €49.8bn), although their sales decreased as well. Globally, the software sector showed the highest year-on-year growth in R&D, of 12.3%, followed by pharma (9.8%), IT hardware (7.6%) and automobiles (6.7%).

There are 15 Austrian companies ranked within the 2500 companies with R&D investment above €21.1 million worldwide. Austrian top investors are Voest Alpine, Borealis and AMS.

The EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, published annually by the European Commission (DG Research & Innovation and DG Joint Research Centre) collects companies' key R&D and economic indicators.

The 2016 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard 

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