R&D spending at Korea’s largest firms up 8% on year

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R&D spending at Korea’s largest firms up 8% on year

Spending on research and development (R&D) by major Korean companies rose about 8 percent year on year in 2017, with the top seven firms investing nearly 60 percent of the total, a state think tank said Wednesday.

R&D expenditures by the nation’s top 1,000 firms came to 46 trillion won ($40.9 billion) last year, up 7.9 percent from the previous year, according to the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology.

R&D spending by companies with a workforce of 1,000 or more accounted for slightly over 86 percent of the total.

Samsung Electronics and six other leading companies invested a combined 26.4 trillion won, accounting for 57.4 percent of the total.

Samsung was by far the largest R&D spender, with 13.6 trillion won, followed by LG Electronics, with 3 trillion won, SK Hynix, with 2.5 trillion won, and Hyundai Motor, with 2.3 trillion won.

R&D spending by manufacturing companies, which account for nearly 80 percent of the 1,000 firms, stood at 41.3 trillion won, or roughly 90 percent of the total.

The institute also said R&D expenditures by the top 1,000 corporations have risen at an average annual rate of 7.7 percent over the past 10 years, with the sum taking up 3.8 percent of their revenue.

Facility investment amounted to 40.9 trillion won last year, a similar level to that of the previous year, it added.

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