Samsung Electronics joined the group of the top 5 firms in terms of research and development (R&D) in the world for six consecutive years. But its ranking went down by two notches from the previous year. In addition, it is pointed out that Korean companies are neglectful of fostering future business as Korea’s growth of R&D investment fell short of the world average.
According to the '2017 Industry R&D Investment Scoreboard' announced earlier this month by the European Commission, it was German automaker Volkswagen that made the biggest investment in fiscal 2016. Its investment ran to €13.7 billion.
Volkswagen was followed by Google's parent company Alphabet (€12.9 billion), Microsoft (€12.4 billion), Samsung Electronics (€12.2 billion) and Intel (€12.1 billion). Samsung Electronics had been in second place for the fourth consecutive year from 2013 to last year, but dropped by two notches this year. However, the Korean IT giant has remained in the Top 5 Group for six consecutive years since the company rose from 7th place in 2011 to 5th place in 2012.
Among Korean companies, LG Electronics (€2.7 billion) ranked 50th while Hyundai Motor (77th) and SK Hynix (83rd) made the top 100. The United States had the highest number of companies on the top 100 list with 36. The US was followed by Japan (14), Germany (13), China (7), Korea (4) and the Netherlands (4). France, Switzerland and Taiwan had three companies, respectively among the top 100 while Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom two, respectively. One company was marked by Denmark, Finland, India, Israel, Italy, Singapore and Spain, respectively.
The survey of 2500 companies in 43 countries with R&D investments of more than 24 million euros in fiscal 2016 showed that their total investment hit 741.6 billion euros, an increase of 5.8% over the previous year. There were 821 US companies, 567 EU member countries, 377 Chinese companies, and 365 Japanese companies. Korea had 70 companies fewer than Taiwan (105). The United States accounted for 39% of the total, followed by EU member countries (26%), Japan (14%) and China (8%).
In particular, R&D investment by Chinese companies jumped a whopping 18.8% from the previous year and R&D investment by the US and EU member countries inflated 7.2% and 7.0%, respectively. However, R&D investment by Korean companies only grew 1.9%, far below the average, and R&D investment by Japanese companies shrank 3.0%.