Investments in research and development (R&D) among European Union (EU) businesses are likely to rise at an average of 4 percent between 2012 and 2014, according to a survey by the European Commission.
The survey highlights the importance of R&D as a key factor for the companies' future growth and prosperity despite challenging economic conditions. The software and computer services sector expects R&D investment to grow by 11 percent annually on average, according to a statement, followed by general industrials at 6.8 percent, automobiles and parts at 6 percent, chemicals at 5.5 percent, oil and gas producers at 4.6 percent, aerospace and defense at 4.1 percent, construction and materials at 3.8 percent, and technology hardware and equipment at 3.5 percent.
Internal R&D was regarded as the most relevant driver of innovation by the surveyed companies, followed by market research and associated activities for new product introduction. However, the time needed to obtain intellectual property rights protection and the costs of that protection were seen as hurdles.
Companies active in high R&D-intensity sectors cited collaboration agreements with other companies as the most important way to share knowledge, followed by licensing with other companies, and agreements with higher education institutions and other public research organizations.
From The Engineer (United Kingdom)
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