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18 Dec 2019

EC publishes 2019 Industrial R&D Scoreboard

On 18 December 2019, the European Commission published the 2019 Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. The report provides an annual in-depth analysis of the most recent investment trends of the worlds’ leading industrial R&D players. According to the report, companies in the European Union have increased their investment in research and development (R&D) for the ninth consecutive year, but below the global growth rate. In 2018, they invested 4.7% more in R&D. This growth is driven by the automobile, health and ICT sectors.

The top 2,500 industrial players worldwide increased their R&D investment by 8.9% last year. EU companies account for 17 of the top 50 of corporate R&D investors. The growth in investment by EU-based companies is, however, outpaced by their US and Chinese counterparts: the former increased their R&D investment last year by 10.3%, the latter by 26.7%. In the ranking of 2500 worldwide largest R&D investors, the US comes first with 769 companies (€313 billion), followed by 551 EU based companies (€208 billion) and China 507 companies (€96 billion). The 551 EU based companies employed more than 19.4 million people, an increase of 3.9% over the previous year.

EU based automotive companies have contributed most to R&D growth in the EU and prepare for the future with a broad patent portfolio to reduce vehicle emissions (behind Japan) and for autonomous vehicles. On the other hand the EU has been overtaken in the ICT sector by China’s large R&D investments, and the US strengthened its leadership through high R&D growth in ICT and health industries.

Global R&D was driven by the US ICT service sector (17.1%) followed by ICT producers (9.1%) and the health sector (9.3%). EU R&D growth sectors comprises automobiles (6.4%), ICT producers (5.5%) and health (3.8%). EU companies are competing with the US in aerospace and defence and in the chemicals sector where Japan takes the lead.

The Scoreboard also includes a separate analysis of patents filed worldwide for 2012-2015. The 2,500 Scoreboard companies hold 53% of all the green tech patents of 2012-2015. The biggest share of these patents (38% during 2012-2015) is in transport. The top 25 companies in green tech patenting include five EU based companies; while nine Japanese companies are overall the most active.

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EC - news

2019 Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard

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