Global R&D spending to rise

24 December 2012

NEW YORK: Expenditure levels on research and development are set to reach $1.5tr worldwide in 2013, driven by the advent of new technologies and trends like the rise of "big data", new figures suggest.

Battelle, the research group, and R&D Magazine predicted in a new report that corporate, academic and government investment in this area would rise by 3.7%, or $53.7bn, in 2013, to $1.5tr in all.

"In sectors like energy, we see important market transformations enabled by past R&D that now influence the outlook for search in 2013," said Jeffrey Wadsworth, president and CEO of Battelle.

"Common technology themes, such as 'big data' analytics, are impacting multiple sectors, while the need for greater cost efficiency is a significant driver in health care and defence."

The US will remain the largest market in value terms, yielding $423.7bn next year, up from $418.6bn on an annual basis. These figures stood at $220.2bn and $197.3bn for China respectively.

Japan will claim third position as its outlay increases from $159.9bn to $161.8bn, while Germany, in fourth, remains largely flat on $91.1bn. South Korea will see a lift of $2bn to $57.8bn, the analysis added.

Looking more broadly, Israel will record the greatest outlay as a percentage of GDP among the top 40 countries, with its total of $10.6bn representing 4.1% of global spending.

At the regional level, Asia will account for 37.1% of total R&D investment in 2013, versus 36% in 2012. The Americas will hold a 33.8% share, down from 34.3%, as Europe declines from 24% to 23.4%.

Having surveyed 914 executives, R&D Magazine and Battelle found that fully 94% were now involved in collaborative initiatives of some kind, be it with universities, research institutes or corporate allies.

The main challenges identified by the panel included a lack of external and internal funding, the absence of a long term perspective, and having insufficient time to be "creative and innovative".

Apple, the electronics group, was regarded as the most innovative company overall, ahead of Google, the online and mobile giant, and Samsung, another electronics firm.

Microsoft, the IT giant, claimed fourth place in this poll, ahead of Intel, the microchip manufacturer, and IBM, the services provider.

Data sourced from R&D Magazine; additional content by Warc staff