107326169_8b4e8afd1fThe table of industrial investments in R+ D of 2010(EU R&D Investment Scoreboard) lists the first 1,000 European companies and the 1,000 non-European companies with the highest investment in R&D in 2009 (The document is available at this link)

This year, the Spanish case is especially surprising, which, in a clear environment of economic crisis, is one of the few European countries in which its most innovative companies have increased their investment in R&D . Spain has gone from having 21 to 27 companies among the most innovative in Europe, and the investment of these companies has risen from 1,470.88 million euros last year to 2,912.45 million euros this year.

Most of the European countries have seen how their best companies have stepped on the brakes in their commitment to R&D. Only the most innovative companies in Italy, the United Kingdom, Denmark and Italy are saved from this debacle, in addition to Spain, with increases of 0.6%, 1.8% and 2.2% respectively. But it is the most innovative companies in Spain that experience the most significant progress, with a surprising increase of 15.4% in their investments in R&D.

Also striking is the Banco Santander, an entity that has come to the top of the list of the largest investors in R&D in Spain, after not even appearing on this list on last year. It is certainly great news that large companies in the financial sector are also committed to research and development. Banco Santander appears followed by Telefónica(Telecommunications), WAW Acquisition (this is Amadeus, ICTs) and Indra Systems (TICs).

Regarding the type of sectors and their investment in R&D, we can see in the following figure how in the EU, companies with medium-high R&D intensity predominate while in the US, those with high intensity are the most that dominate R&D investment. This data may mean a certain alarm for the European economy, with insufficient companies in the most knowledge-intensive sectors; sectors that will surely be protagonists of tomorrow.

Regarding Spanish companies, the interpretation is clear: large companies renew their commitment, and even reinforce it, in times of crisis. This should be a clear message also for the Government and SMEs.

Figures taken from http://iri.jrc.ec.europa.eu/research/scoreboard_2010.htm

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