Research and development

The top 500 companies in the EU invested a total of 100 billion Euros in Research and Development during 2003. But investment in 2003 was lower than in 2002, and non-EU companies are investing more.


The top 500 companies in the EU invested a total of 100billion Euros in Research and Development during 2003. But investment in 2003 was lower than in 2002, and non-EU companies are investing more.


These are the findings of the first EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard. The Scoreboard provides comparisons between companies, sectors, and geographical areas, as well as a full picture of the competitive situation of EU firms in the global R&D environment.


The top five companies in this survey (Daimler Chrysler, Siemens, Volkswagen, Nokia and Glaxo Smith Kline) are in the top 12 globally in terms of investment in research. Each of these major industrial players invested between 4 and 5.6 billion Euros in R&D worldwide last year.


However, while the largest EU companies hold their own globally in R&D terms, the list of the top 500 shows a steep fall-off in R&D investment compared to the non-EU list. As a result, the total R&D expenditure by these companies (101 billion Euros) is about half that of the top 500 from outside the EU (196 billion Euros). The Scoreboard also shows that investment by the top 500 EU companies was 2% down on the 2002 figure, while for the non-EU500 it grew by almost 4%.


This first EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard was produced as part of the research investment Action Plan, which aims to raise the level of R&D investment in the EU to 3 % of GDP, as fixed by the Barcelona European Council in 2002.


The Scoreboard lists the research investments of the top 500 EU and top 500 non-EU corporate R&D investors, calculated at the consolidated group level (i.e. companies whose ultimate parent is registered either inside or outside the EU), based on annual audited company reports and accounts published up to 31 July 2004.


The Scoreboard looks at R&D from a different perspective. While official statistics look at particular territorial, rather than company, units, the Scoreboard focuses on the major R&D-investing companies, regardless of where the R&D is performed. It enables companies, investors and financial analysts not only to compare research investment among EU companies and sectors, but also with US and Japanese companies.


The document is available on-line <link>here=http://eu-IRIscoreboard.jrc.es</link>.



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