EU companies increase research investment amidst global competition

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, according to the new 2019 Industrial R&D Scoreboard published today by the European Commission. Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Education, Culture and Youth, said: “Companies based in the EU keep increasing their R&D investments, but much more is needed in the global race for technological leadership in deep-tech and sustainability. We will launch a fully-fledged European Innovation Council to invest in high-risk companies creating new markets. If we want Europe to drive the transition to a climate-neutral economy, we need to redouble our efforts.” The findings show that EU companies’ R&D investment grew by 4.7% in 2018. This growth is, however, outpaced by their U.S. and Chinese counterparts: American companies increased their R&D investment by 10.3%, Chinese by 26.7%. Overall, the EU comes second in the ranking of 2500 worldwide largest R&D investors, with 551 companies. These EU firms employed more than 19.4 million people in 2018, 3.9% more than in the previous year, and accounted for 17 of the top 50 of corporate R&D investors. In Europe, the growth in R&D investments has been driven by the automobile, health and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sectors. The Scoreboard provides an annual in-depth analysis of the most recent investment trends of the worlds’ leading industrial R&D players and contributes to understanding the positioning of the EU companies in the global landscape. More information about the 2019 Industrial R&D Scoreboard is available here.