The 2014 Survey on R&D Investment Business Trends The 2014 Survey on R&D Investment Business Trends

This report contains the main findings of the ninth European Commission survey on industrial research and development (R&D) investment trends. It analyses the responses of 186 mainly very large enterprises from a subsample of 1 000 EU-based companies in the 2013 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. These 186 companies invested almost € 60 billion in R&D from their own resources, corresponding to 36 % of the total R&D investment by the 1 000 EU Scoreboard companies.

The main findings are as follows:

  • The main conclusion is that the responding companies expect R&D investment to increase by on average 4.2 % per year during 2014–16. This is about 50 % higher than the increase anticipated in the previous survey (2.6 %) and mainly reflects the shift in expectations in the automobiles and parts sector, which returns to the level of previous years (4.6 %) after last year's reported stagnation (–0.4 %).
  • Activities related to Key Enabling Technologies (KETs) are highly diverse and often concentrated among few companies, mainly from high and medium R&D-intensity sectors.
  • The 166 companies which provided information make one-fifth of their R&D outside the EU. The largest share of R&D investment made outside the EU is in the United States and Canada (8.4 %), followed by China (4.3 %), the rest of the world (3.6 %), India (1.9 %), other European countries (1.6 %) and Japan (1.2 %).
  • The responding companies' expectations for R&D investment for the next three years show the ongoing participation of European companies in the global economy. While maintaining the focus of their R&D investment in the EU, they reap opportunities for growth in emerging economies.
  • Two out of three of the responding EU-based companies consider their home country the most attractive location for R&D. The United States, Germany, China and India are the most attractive locations mentioned outside the home country.
  • Human resources, knowledge-sharing and proximity to other company sites are the criteria that make countries attractive for R&D activity. For the countries where companies have the greatest R&D activity, the criteria most influencing attractiveness were said to be R&D personnel in the labour market (quality, quantity and labour costs), knowledge-sharing and collaboration opportunities (with universities and public research organisations) and proximity (to other company sites, technology poles and incubators, and suppliers).
  • In a separate comparison of attractiveness factors among R&D sites within the EU, quality of R&D personnel and knowledge-sharing opportunities with universities and public organisations are by far the most frequently stated in the top three.
  • Comparing R&D attractiveness factors within the EU with those for the United States, the 38 respondents point to knowledge-sharing opportunities and quality and quantity of R&D personnel as the leading factors for both world regions.
  • Comparing R&D attractiveness factors within the EU with those for China and India, the 13 respondents reveal significant differences between the two world areas.
  • R&D within the company is the most important component of innovation, followed by market research, product demonstration and training to support innovation activities.