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The US is a benchmark when it comes to research spending

The US is a benchmark when it comes to research spending

Two Austrian companies, Voestalpine and Andritz, are also in the top 600.


When it comes to research and development spending by corporations, the United States continues to be the benchmark. Two European companies – Volkswagen and Roche – are among the top ten R&D investors worldwide. Two Austrian companies, Voestalpine and Andritz, are among the top 600, US consulting firm EY said today. Accordingly, R&D spending rose 13 percent in North America, eleven percent in Asia, and seven percent in Europe.

The research budgets of 500 companies worldwide will increase by a total of twelve percent in 2023 – even though sales will increase by only two percent and overall profits will shrink by nine percent, EY calculates. 169 American companies among the top 500 investors worldwide. It is followed by Japan (86 companies), China (52) and Germany (31). Voestalpine is ranked 482nd and Andritz AG is ranked 550th.

According to EY, Amazon will have the largest innovation budget in the world in 2023 – the equivalent of around 79 billion euros (an increase of 17 percent). Google parent company Alphabet is in second place with 42 billion euros (up 15 percent) in development spending on Meta Platforms (including Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram) with 36 billion euros (plus nine percent). Two European companies are also in the top ten: Volkswagen in eighth (15.8 billion euros, up ten percent) and Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche in tenth (14.6 billion euros, down seven percent).

Steel group Voestalpine invested 191 million euros (2022: 171 million euros), an increase of twelve percent. Andritz AG increased R&D spending by 20 percent to 137 million euros (2022: 114 million euros).

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According to EY, research spending pays off: “In many industries, there is a clear correlation between more intensive research and development on the one hand and higher profitability on the other. Among all 500 companies, the EBIT margin average for “companies” investing more in R&D is only 14.5 percent, while “It's only 11.2 percent for companies that invest relatively little in R&D,” the American consulting firm calculated Thursday.