Brussels -Â European companies will increase spending on R&D in the coming years, but see the US, Germany and China as key areas for R&D-related investments, according to an EC-sponsored research project. AMong key findings of the report are:
European firms choose US, China for tech centres
Companies expect their global investments in R&D to grow by around 5 % p.a. for the next three years. These expectations reflect the dominance in the sample of the companies in pharmaceuticals & biotechnology and chemicals, which together account for almost 60 % of the total R&D investment of all companies in the sample.
The incentives to increase R&D investment most often cited in the responses are: changes in market demand for new products and services, changes in technological opportunities, and changes in company turnover or profit. Changes in the availability and labour costs of researchers are the least often cited incentives for increasing R&D investment.
Own funds are by far the principal source for financing the company's R&D, followed by tax incentives and public grants.
Companies outsource an average of 18 % of their R&D investment. Around two thirds of this goes to other companies and one third to public research organisations. The sector which outsources most of its R&D is pharmaceuticals and biotechnology (25%), and the least is IT hardware (5%).
The most important factors when deciding where to locate R&D are: market access, high availability of researchers, access to specialised R&D knowledge and results, macroeconomic and political stability, and R&D cooperation opportunities. The often mentioned labour costs of researchers seem to be less significant.
The survey confirms the view that companies continue to prefer to locate R&D in their home-country. Therefore, the top locations for R&D activity in Europe continue to be Germany, the United Kingdom and France. Outside the EU, the US remained by far the most attractive place for locating R&D activity, followed by China and India.
New products resulting from R&D are mainly exploited by the company itself.
The 35-page report is available for download from the website (see link below)
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Home page of report on EC website
Download the report (384kb .PDF file)