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15/7/2020  
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R&D
EU companies must boost R&D investment

Germany and the UK lead the EU R&D investment


Data show that EU-based companies (633) invested €162.4 billion in 2013, whereas US-based companies (804) invested €193.7 billion and the 387 Japanese ones €85.6 billion. The results published by the European Commission´s 2014 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, analyses the top 2500 companies worldwide, representing about 90% of the total business R&D expenditure.
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Investment in research and development by companies based in the EU grew by 2.6% in 2013, despite the unfavourable economic environment. However, this growth has slowed in comparison to the previous year´s 6.8%. It is also below the 2013 world average (4.9%), and lags behind companies based in the US (5%) and Japan (5.5%).

The EU-based carmaker Volkswagen leads the global ranking for the second consecutive year with a total R&D investment of €11.7billion (a 23.4 % increase). The second and third place in the ranking are occupied by Samsung (South Korea) and Microsoft(US).

The automobile sector, where investments continued to increase by 6.2%, accounts for one quarter of the total R&D invested by the EU Scoreboard companies. On the other hand, 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.

Employment
The Scoreboard companies employed 48 million staff worldwide in 2013. Over the last 8 years (2005-2013), EU based companies have increased employment by 18.2%, with higher R&D intensity sectors driving that growth. This trend remains strong, despite the small decrease in employment (0.6%) by EU companies last year.

Trends
For EU based companies, 97% of the total R&D investment is by companies based in 10 countries. The overall performance is largely driven by companies based in three countries: Germany, France and the UK, which account for more than two thirds of the total. In Germany and the UK, companies´ investment continued to grow (5.9% and 5.2% respectively) above the average while French companies saw a decrease in R&D investment (-3.4%).

Declining investment in a few major EU companies particularly affected the R&D investment rate of their county. This was the case with Nokia (-17.1%) or STMicroelectronics (-19.2%) which had significant impact on the overall investment in Finland (-11.6%) and the Netherlands (-0.1%), two of the top ten countries in Europe.

Meanwhile, Scoreaboad companies based in some EU countries saw their R&D investment increase above the world average: Ireland (13.6%) and Italy (6.4%), and above the EU average: Spain (4.4%).

The EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard is published annually by the European Commission (DG Research and Innovation and DG Joint Research Centre). The 2014 Scoreboard is based on a sample of 2500 companies. The researchcollects companies´ key R&D and economic indicators corresponding to the companies´ latest published accounts.

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