Innovation: these 17 European companies spend more than 3,5 billion € (each!) per year on R&D



The new ’2012 EU Industrial R&D Scoreboard’ by the directorate Research & Innovation of the European Commission was published a few days ago.

The Scoreboard tracks innovation expenditures of some 1500 companies worldwide. Of the 50 most innovative companies in the world, 17 are European. They each spend more than 3,5 billion € each year on innovation. We extracted them from the global list:

  1. Volkswagen (Germany)
  2. Novartis (Switzerland)
  3. Roche (Switzerland)
  4. Daimler (Germany)
  5. Nokia (Finland)
  6. Sanofi (France)
  7. GlaxoSmithKline (UK)
  8. Siemens (Germany)
  9. Bosch (Germany)
  10. AstraZeneca (UK)
  11. Ericsson (Sweden)
  12. BMW (Germany)
  13. EADS (Netherlands)
  14. Bayer (Germany)
  15. Peugeot (France)
  16. Boehringer Ingelheim (Germany)
  17. Alcatel-Lucent (France)

It’s notable that a few of them are going through hard times at this moment: Alcatel-Lucent is restructuring worldwide after Q3 losses: it is downsizing its workforce and talking about selling assets. Nokia is shedding ‘non core assets’ in order to get its liquidity up. Peugeot showed very disappointing results and also announced restructuring this summer – it is thinking of cutting as many as 8000 jobs. It will be interesting to see how they fare on next year’s scoreboard.

It’s also quite clear that European innovation is happening primarily in automotive and pharmaceuticals, and that Germany is the innovation leader of the European pack with 7 companies out of 17.

See the full top 50 list of innovative companies worldwide:

innovation Europe

Read more: the full Innovation Scoreboard 2012 (PDF)

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About the author

Raf Weverbergh

Editor of whiteboard. Raf Weverbergh was a magazine journalist whose work appeared in magazines like Rolling Stone, Playboy, Mail on Sunday, Publico and South China Morning Post. He is the co-founder of FINN, a corporate communications agency where he advises startups and multinationals on their PR and Mustr, the easiest media database for PR professionals. You can contact him on Twitter, Linkedin or Skype (rafweverbergh).

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