Industrial research and innovation are monitored by JRC-IPTS
Promoting R&D in Europe: beyond raising expenditure
A new series of working papers on Research and Development (R&D) recently published by the JRC reveal that R&D intensity (the ratio of investment in R&D against sales) by European companies is comparable or higher than the same ratio for companies in other parts of the world, including the US.
The difference between the EU and the rest of the world is shown to be in the weight that different sectors have in their respective economies: while the heaviest European investors in R&D belong to the car and car parts-manufacturing sectors, in the US and other competing economies the lead is taken by companies working in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector.
The new working papers, the result of research by the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies, also show that there are considerably more small and eventually faster-growing US companies with high levels of R&D investment than in the EU. It is suggested, therefore, that policies should focus more on industrial research in other domains, with the aim of creating favourable conditions for innovation and growth.
The papers analyse a number of issues, including European corporate investment across business sectors; the impact of R&D on business productivity; the differences between EU and US expenditure; links with the public sector; R&D and innovation in low-tech sectors; and the implications of the global economic and financial downturn for R&D and Innovation. They try to shed light on economic and policy questions related to industrial research and innovation and their contribution to the European competitiveness.
The working papers are aimed principally at policy analysts and the academic community, but are also meant to communicate the preliminary research findings to a broad audience, to generate discussion and attract critical comments for further improvements.
Most of the research presented in the papers was carried out in the framework of Industrial Research Monitoring and Analysis (IRMA) activities together with the European Commission’s Directorate General for Research, with the aim of improving the understanding of corporate R&D and innovation for the competitiveness and economic growth of the European Union and to identify medium and long-term policy implications.
The first 12 issues of the IPTS Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation can be downloaded at: http://iri.jrc.ec.europa.eu/papers.htm.