EU companies increasing R&D


Companies in the EU are increasing their investment in R&D, despite the difficult economic conditions, according to a report from the European Commission that looked at the global top 1500 R&D investors.

Investment rose by 8.9% in 2011, compared with a rise of 6.1% in 2010, putting the EU above the global average of 7.6% growth, but just below the US figure of 9% growth.

In absolute terms, the global pharma industry invested the most in R&D, over €90 billion (£72 billion) in 2011. But it was in second place within the EU, behind the automotive industry. Three drug makers nevertheless made it into the top ten EU investors in R&D: Sanofi at four, GlaxoSmithKline at five and AstraZeneca at eight.

But the Commission found the largest increases in investment in the banking, industrial engineering and automotive industries.

According to the report, the EU remains a highly attractive place for investment in R&D, thanks to: ‘developed markets with a sophisticated demand [so-called lead markets]; the quality and quantity of its pool of skilled labour; public support [of] R&D and the quality of its scientific and technological base’.


Related Content

Europe risks being outstripped by R&D rivals

26 October 2011 News Archive

news image

Investment in R&D by top European firms grew by 6 per cent last year, but competitors are growing faster

What's in store for European biotech?

28 October 2010 Premium contentFeature

news image

The global economic crisis has made funding even harder to come by, but positive long-term trends provide some cause for opti...

Most Read

Coated nanoparticles show Alzheimer's promise

12 September 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Gold nanoparticles functionalised with amino acid polymer inhibit the growth of amyloid fibres associated with neurodegenerat...

First flexible graphene display paves the way for folding electronics

11 September 2014 News and Analysis

news image

Team behind the bendy e-reader display hope to have a full colour graphene-based smartphone style screen within a year

Most Commented

Does life play dice?

3 September 2014 The Crucible

news image

Philip Ball wonders whether life evolved to exploit quantum phenomena, or if it’s just in our nature

The trouble with boycotts

29 August 2014 Critical Point

news image

Cutting academic ties with a censured state can do more harm than good, says Mark Peplow