Top EU businesses expect their investments in research and development to grow by an average of 4% annually over the period 2012 to 2014, according to a Commission survey of some of Europe's companies that invest the most in R&D. The figures show the importance that these companies place on R&D as a key factor for their future growth and prosperity, despite the current economic difficulties. The front runner is the software and computer services sector, which expects R&D investment to grow by 11% per year on average. In-house R&D is seen as the most relevant driver of innovation by the surveyed companies, followed by market research and related activities for new product introduction.
As the Commission's in-house science service, the Joint Research Centre's mission is to provide EU policies with independent, evidence-based scientific and technical support throughout the whole policy cycle. Working in close cooperation with policy Directorates-General, the JRC addresses key societal challenges while stimulating innovation through developing new methods, tools and standards, and sharing its know-how with the Member States, the scientific community and international partners.