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Jan 11, 2017

The 2015 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard..

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  • In 2014, the top world 2500 R&D Scoreboard companies raised their Research and Development investments by 6.8%, while net sales continued to grow at a signi cant lower pace (2.2%). The positive evolution of R&D investments con rms the crucial strategic role that knowledge generation plays for these companies in a context of global competition and increasingly accelerated technical change.

  • Companies based in the EU showed an annual R&D investment growth rate of 3.3%, slightly improving the previous year’s performance (2.5%). This re ects the mixed performance of medium- and high-tech sectors, e.g. good results by companies such as VW (11.7%), Ericsson (17.3%), AstraZeneca (21.4%), Bayer (13.2%), Total (42.6%) and Bosch (8.4%) have been o set by those of companies such as Nokia (-21.4%), Alstom (-29.5%), STMicroelectronics (-31.6%), GlaxoSmithKline (-10.5%), Royal Bank of Scotland (-31.5%) and Finmeccanica (-14.6%).

  • Companies based in the US showed a stronger R&D investment growth rate (8.1%), driven by the good performance of its R&D-intensive ICT and health companies, which represent more than two thirds of US total R&D investment.

  • The Chinese companies, from the 3rd largest country by number of companies in this edition, increased R&D investments by 23.6%, mostly due to the outstanding results shown in IT-hardware and so ware sectors. These same ICT sectors largely explained the strong R&D investment performance of companies based in Taiwan (12.4%) and South Korea (10.6%).

  • An analysis of the health (biopharma and health equipment sectors) and ICT sectors shows a signi cant gap for the EU vis-à-vis the US in terms of R&D investment. However, the Scoreboard also shows there are a number of world-beating EU companies of substantial size in these sectors, e.g. Novo Nordisk, ASML and ARM. The gap is due to the fact that there are too few of them. Further investigation on an enlarged sample of top EU-1000 companies showed that there are a signi cant number of high-performance companies with the potential to further climb-up in the ranking of world top R&D investors (e.g. Dialog Semiconductor, Gamelo , Generix, Playtech and Wirecard).

  • Companies in the ICT, Pharmaceuticals and Automobiles sectors continue to dominate the top 10 places in the world ranking. As in the previous edition, the top R&D investors are Volkswagen, Samsung, Microso , Intel and Novartis. The most signi cant changes at the top of the ranking in 2014 are the climb of Google to 6th place (from 9th), and of P zer to the 10th place (from 15th ). Huawei (15th) and Apple (18th) accelerated in 2014 their race to the top, jumping 11 and 17 positions respectively. The slip down in the ranking of the EU based companies present in the top 50 is in part due to the depreciation of the euro which started in the second half of 2014.

  • An analysis of the patent portfolios of the world’s top R&D investors shows that EU and US based companies have the highest degrees of internationalisation of their inventive activities: 26% and 22% of their patent families are developed by inventors located outside the region. While the US appear to be the preferred location for health related inventions (pharma and biotech in particular), Europe is the most attractive place for the inventive activities of automobile companies. 

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