The 2010 Survey on R&D Investment Business Trends The 2010 Survey on R&D Investment Business Trends

This report presents the findings of the sixth survey on trends in business R&D investment. These are based on 205 responses of mainly larger companies from the 1000 EU-based companies in the 2010 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. These 205 companies are responsible for R&D investment worth almost €40 billion, constituting around 30% of the total R&D investment of the 1000 EU Scoreboard companies.

The main findings are as follows:

  • Companies' R&D investment is expected to grow by 5%, more than double the expectations of last year's survey. The expectations have however not yet reached the levels prior to the crisis (7% in the 2007 survey).
  • The EU-based companies in the sample carry out one-quarter of their R&D outside the EU. The shares of R&D investment carried out in China and India are around 5%, which is a similar value to previous surveys and a relatively low share in the light of globalisation.
  • Their expectations for R&D investment growth within the EU have increased to 3%, leading to a considerable nominal increase of R&D in the EU in the coming years. However, growth rate expectations are much higher in China (25%), Japan (17%), the rest of the world (20%), India (8%), other European countries (8%) and the US and Canada (5%). This reflects the increasing participation of European companies in the global economy, in particular emerging economies, while maintaining their R&D focus in the EU.
  • Most companies chose their home country as the most attractive location for R&D, and identified the US, China, Germany and India as the most attractive locations outside their home country.
  • R&D is the most important component of innovation for companies which invest most in R&D. In low R&D intensity sectors, greater increases in innovation investments are expected.
  • The responding companies report that an average 27% of annual sales came from innovative products and services introduced in the past three years.
  • Availability of qualified personnel and public support had a clearly positive effect on the company's innovation activities. Different aspects related to Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs), namely the conditions for putting them into force, the costs, and the time to obtain protection, are perceived as negative for all sectors.
  • Recruitment of qualified employees, collaboration with universities and companies and participation in conferences were important for company innovation.
  • The patterns and trends of knowledge sharing activities are similar to those observed for R&D investment, i.e. a focus within the EU, but with stronger growth expected outside.