R&D growth in Korea slows, says EU report

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R&D growth in Korea slows, says EU report

Four Korean companies made a list of the 100 companies that made the largest investments in research and development in fiscal year 2015.

It was the same number as last year’s list and the same companies, but the pace of expansion in their R&D investments slowed.

The European Commission issued its annual EU Industrial R&D Scoreboard Tuesday which assessed the R&D investments of 2,500 companies worldwide, 75 of them based in Korea.

The 2,500 companies invested 696 billion euros ($727.6 billion) in R&D last year, 53.1 percent of which was concentrated in the top 100.

Samsung Electronics held on to its No. 2 spot for the fourth consecutive year since 2013 by investing 12.5 billion euros in electronics and electrical equipment in 2015 while German automaker Volkswagen firmly held onto the No. 1 spot for the same period.

In 2012, Samsung Electronics ranked fifth while Toyota Motor ranked first.

LG Electronics was the next Korean company on the list in 48th place, two notches down from last year. Categorized in the leisure goods sector, LG Electronics was said to have invested 2.7 billion euros in R&D.

Hyundai Motor was in 83th place, down four notches from last year. It invested 1.6 billion euros in automobile and auto parts technology. Semiconductor company SK Hynix was in 85th place, up 13 slots from last year.

By country, the United States had the highest number of its companies - 837 - followed by 356 for Japan and 327 for China.

The Korean companies lagged behind other companies in terms of expansion of investment.

Global R&D growth was 6.6 percent in all industries in 2015 with software and computer segment recording the highest growth of 12.3 percent.

Korea’s growth rate was 3.7 percent.

China had 24.7 percent growth in R&D investment. The report said IT-related companies in China like Huawei, ZTE and Baidu led the growth. Smartphone company Huawei, which ranked eighth this year, seven notches up from last year, made 8.4 billion euros worth of R&D investment, which was a 46.1 percent increase from the year before.

BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]
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