European Commission study shows 5% leap in European industrial R&D spending

October 6, 2006

Brussels, 5 October 2006

The 2006 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard shows that the top 1000 EU companies increased their R&D by an average of 5.3% in 2005. This figure is in line with the results of a Commission survey released earlier this year. The top 1000 non-EU companies raised their R&D investment by 7.7%, showing a world-wide boost in R&D spending. The EU maintains a high profile, with 18 of the top 50 R&D spenders and 5 of the 10 word-wide companies with the fastest R&D growth. These figures emerge from the analysis of the top 1000 EU and 1000 non-EU companies investing in R&D. The full report, including detailed sector-by-sector analysis will be available later this year.

Janez Potočnik, European Commissioner for Science and Research said “This year's R&D scoreboard is very encouraging. If this trend continues, we could gradually close the R&D investment gap. I hope that at the Lahti summit later this month, European leaders will support the Commission's proposals to go further to boost innovation in Europe, and give even more impetus to these positive developments.”

After a period of sluggish R&D growth, this year's scoreboard shows a strong increase in R&D investment worldwide. An average growth rate for EU companies of 5.3% contrasts with last year's growth rate for 0.7% and a contraction of 2% in 2004. The R&D investment growth of companies in the rest of the world in 2005 was 7.7%, one percent higher than the previous year.

The EU companies continue to perform well among the top R&D investors.. Of the worldwide top 50, 18 are EU companies, the same number as last year, including 5 of the 10 fastest R&D growth companies worldwide. From the rest of the world, the top 50 includes 18 US companies, 10 Japanese (2 less than last year), 2 Swiss and 2 South Korean (the 2006 Scoreboard reports high R&D growth by South Korean companies). Most of top R&D investors are from automobile & parts sector (13 companies), pharmaceuticals (11 companies) and IT Hardware (9 companies). Daimler-Chrysler is once again the biggest R&D investor among EU companies.

This year, the Scoreboard includes a larger proportion of companies from sectors showing high R&D growth rates, especially in the EU group, where the presence of companies in R&D-intensive sectors such as software & computer services and pharmaceutical & biotechnology has increased.

The EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard is published annually by the European Commission (DG RTD and DG JRC-IPTS) as part of its Industrial Research Investment Monitoring (IRIM) activity. The number of companies in the Scoreboard increased from 1400 last year to 2000 in the present edition. Together, the 1000 companies from the EU and the 1000 from outside invested €371 billion in R&D, estimated to represent more than half of world corporate R&D investment.

Details of all 2000 companies including R&D and financial data and in-depth analysis of the data are available from http://iri.jrc.es . An in-depth analysis of the data will be published before the end of the year.

The top 50 companies by total R&D investment (m €) in 2005
The 10 fastest growers of the Scoreboard top 50 worldwide

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Item source: IP/06/1319 Date: 05/10/2006

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