Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

European Firms Lagging in R&D Investment

Academic journal article Research-Technology Management

European Firms Lagging in R&D Investment

Article excerpt

European automaker DaimlerChrysler spends more money on R&D than any other company in the world, according to a new study from the European Union. Unfortunately, says the EU, not enough European companies are following its example. The 2005 industrial R&D investment scoreboard (http://eu-iriscoreboard. jrc.es/index.htm) shows a turnaround in spending by European companies, with investment increasing by 0.7 percent compared to a decline of 2 percent in 2004. But Europe's companies are still behind the top non-EU companies, which this year saw a 7 percent growth in R&D investment.

EU officials have long stressed the need for increased investment at both national and EU levels and by public and private organizations as it works to improve Europe's transport networks and strengthen economic competitiveness in global transport markets. DaimlerChrysler invested 5.66 billion [euro] in R&D last year, slightly more than U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. and two other transport giants, the Ford Motor Company and Japan's Toyota.

"The 2005 edition of the scoreboard gives room for some optimism, but also shows the enormous task still ahead of us if we want the EU to become a true knowledge economy," said EU research commissioner Janez Potoanik. "We have some excellent performing EU companies, but we need greater coherence and ambition in establishing the right conditions for R&D and innovation across member states so that we have many more of them. The message is very simple: the situation is serious."

EU governments have already promised to boost R&D by raising investment to 3 percent by 2010. The EU's current R&D/GDP ratio lags behind Japan's 3. …

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