EU Science Hub

Industrial research and innovation

Compared to main competitors like the US and Japan, Europe under-invests in its knowledge foundations, with a major gap in business R&D.  To overcome this gap, the EU has set the target of spending 3% of its GDP on R&D by 2020, with a major contribution coming from the business sector. In this context there is a need to better understand the motivations of companies to invest in research and innovation activities, the determinants and barriers to undertake such activities and its impact on their economic performance and, ultimately, on the overall economic growth and employment. The role of the JRC is to collect consistent and high-quality company data and provide analysis to support policy makers in the elaboration of medium and long-term evidence-based policy options aiming at increasing the levels of business investments on R&D and innovation.

The work of the JRC on this field focuses on the economic and policy analysis of patterns and trends in industrial R&D and innovation and their contribution to the competitive position of the EU industry by benchmarking it against main competitors, and in particular for industrial sectors of interest.

Sources of information include: data from statistical offices (national, Eurostat, OECD, EPO, etc.), companies' annual financial reports, surveys (own survey, access to CIS, and other surveys), experts' opinions, published reports and scientific papers, commercial databases (e.g. Compustat). The research methodologies are based on quantitative economic and financial analyses using statistics, econometrics, modelling, input-output matrices and data panels. Expert panels qualitative analysis is also used.

The EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard

The EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard provides economic and financial data and analysis of the top corporate R&D investors from the EU and from abroad. It is published annually since 2004.

Check out our infographic for the R&D Scoreboard 2016

R&D Scoreboard 2016 infographic


The EU surveys on R&D Investment Business Trends

From 2006 the Scoreboard is complemented by an annual survey on R&D Investment Business Trends. It is carried-out on the sample of European based Scoreboard companies.  It provides a forward-looking perspective on companies' projected R&D investments (within a three years horizon) as well as insights on important issues such as location strategies and perception of current drivers and barriers and of the effectiveness of policy support measures.

Working Papers on Corporate R&D and Innovation and Policy Briefs

Mainly addressed to policy analysts and the academic community, the Working Papers are scientific papers (policy relevant, highlighting possible policy implications) and early-stage scientific publications. They shed light on economic and policy questions related to industrial research and innovation and their contribution to the European competitiveness. Working Papers are complemented by Policy Briefs that aim at presenting the results of scientific work to a policy audience, to promote exchange and discussion that ultimately would lead to a reinforced evidence-based policy support.

CONCORD: Corporate R&D conferences

CONCORD conferences provide a platform for discussion on how research can support evidence-based policy making in the area of private R&D and innovation investments. JRC also undertakes various activities to validate and disseminate the research results among policy makers and other interested stakeholders (including industrial representatives and experts) and to discuss its policy implications and follow-up. This includes the organisation of thematic workshops where the results of the research (presented in a "non-academic" format, such as policy briefs) are contrasted.