Industrial investments in research and development in the EU again on the rise

The 2022 edition of the EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, published by the Commission today, shows that Europe’s industry is back on track in research and development investments with an increase of 8.9% in 2021 compared to the -2.2 % pandemic-related dip in 2020.

The EU remains the global leader in R&D investments by the automotive sector, where the transformation towards electric vehicles and digitalisation is fully underway in both established companies and younger firms. The Scoreboard also shows a broad sectoral diversification for the EU, especially compared to the US, where R&D investment is highly concentrated in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT).

Globally the private sector R&D investment grew strongly beyond pre-pandemic levels (by 14.8% in 2021 vs. 2020). For the first time since the 2004 Scoreboard, total R&D investment by the world’s top 2500 firms passed above one trillion euros (€1094 billion). An important change is that all Chinese Scoreboard firms together now have a slightly bigger share of the global total than the EU companies (17.9% Chinese and 17.6% EU, respectively). The leading share of US firms increased to 40.2% of the global total.

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