After growth of nearly 10% for the second year in a row, total research and development spending by the most innovative companies continues to grow strongly, according to the 2012 edition of the Global Innovation 1000 survey.
The study, which looks at the 1,000 publicly traded companies with the largest research and development budgets, shows that innovation spending reached $603 billion in 2011, an all-time high. This represents a 9.6% increase over 2010 ($550 billion) and is the second consecutive year of growth. This recovery comes after a 3.5% drop in spending between 2008 and 2009, at the height of the crisis.
Booz - Company also surveyed nearly 700 innovation leaders in companies around the world to identify companies perceived as the most innovative in the world. Apple, Google and 3M topped the list for the third year in a row. The study also confirms that the most innovative companies are rarely the ones that spend the most. Comparing the 10 companies considered the most innovative and the 10 companies that made the most important research and development investments, we see that the performance of the first group is superior to that of the second on all the main financial indicators: growth in turnover, growth in market capitalization and profit as a percentage of turnover.
Other key findings of the 2012 edition include:
- The three sectors that spend the most on research and development are IT - electronics with 28% of total panel spending, health (21%) and the automobile (16%).
- Two-thirds of the $53 billion increase in research and development spending between 2010 and 2011 is accounted for in three sectors: IT/electronics, automotive and industrial products.
- 75% of companies on the panel increased their research and development spending in 2011 compared to the previous year, up from 68% in 2010.
- Amazon is making the top 10 most innovative companies this year, at the expense of Facebook. For the third year in a row, Samsung rose from 7th to 4th place. Apple, Google and 3M took the top three spots for the third year in a row.
- At the regional level, North American-based companies increased their research and development spending by 9.7%, just above the global average of 9.6%, while europe and Japan had below-average rates of 5.4% and 2.4%, respectively.
- Companies based in India and China are once again among companies with the highest growth rates of research and development investment (up 27% on average), albeit on a relatively modest expenditure base.
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