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Samsung Electronics Ranks No. 2 in Global Research Spending
Global R&D Investor
Samsung Electronics Ranks No. 2 in Global Research Spending
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • December 28, 2016, 02:45
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Samsung’s Seoul R&D Campus.
Samsung’s Seoul R&D Campus.


Samsung Electronics Co. has retained its No. 2 spot in a global ranking for industrial research and development (R&D) spending for the third consecutive year. In addition, four Korean companies, including LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor and SK Hynix, made a list of the 100 companies that made the largest investments in R&D in fiscal year 2015.

By country, a share of Korean companies in the list slightly decreased and five Korean companies dropped out of the list, deepening the tipping effect on major groups.

According to the European Union (EU) Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard 2016 released by the European Commission on December 27, 75 Korean firms were included in the top 2,500 companies in the world in terms of R&D spending in the fiscal year 2015.

By country, the United States took the top position with 837 companies, followed by Japan with 356, China with 327, Britain with 133, Germany with 132, Taiwan with 111, France with 83, Korea with 75, and Switzerland with 58. Compared to the last year's ranking, China and the United States saw the number of their firms increase by 26 and eight, respectively. Korea and Japan saw the number shrink by five and four each.

By company, Germany’s Volkswagen AG and Samsung Electronics were ranked first and second for three years in a row. Other top 10 firms included U.S.’ Intel Corp., Alphabet Inc., the parent of Google, and Microsoft Corp., Switzerland’s Novartis AG and Roche AG, China’s Huawei Technologies Co., U.S.’ Johnson & Johnson, and Japan’s Toyota.

Of the top 100 companies, there were four Korean ones including Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics (48th place), Hyundai Motor (83rd), and SK Hynix (85th). The four companies also made the top 100 last year. Other Korean firms within the top 1000 list were Kia Motors (124th), Korea Electric Power Corp. (246th), Hyundai Mobis (260th), Samsung SDI (261st), POSCO (303rd), Samsung Electro-Mechanics (339th), and SK Telecom (421st).

The 2,500 companies invested 696 billion euros (US$726.66 billion or 877.08 trillion) in R&D last year, up 6.6 percent from the previous year. The figure accounted for 90 percent in global R&D investment made by private firms last year.

For share, U.S. companies accounted for 38.6 percent in global R&D investment, followed by Japan with 14.4 percent, Germany with 10 percent, China with 7.2 percent, France with 4.1 percent, Britain with 4.1 percent, Switzerland with 4 percent, Korea with 3.7 percent and Taiwan with 2 percent.

China had 24.7 percent growth in R&D investment, and its share also grew by 1.3 percent point from 5.9 percent from the previous year. The shares of the U.S. and Japan also increased by 0.4 percent point and 0.1 percent point from the previous year, respectively.

Korea had 3.7 percent growth in R&D investment but its share decreased by 0.2 percent point. By industry, Samsung Electronics ranked first among electric and electronics companies and LG Electronics was categorized as “leisure product” firm in the industry and took third place, following Japan’s Sony Corp. and Panasonic Corp.