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’.


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