Motivating companies to continually invest in R&D and to prioritise innovation is an ongoing process. R&D and innovation are necessary bold strategic investments that European companies must make for keeping and improving current and future competitiveness. Thanks to EU funding, the IRIMA (Industrial research and innovation monitoring and analysis) project examined what stops companies from investing in R&D, and what blocks companies from innovation that could improve productivity. Project partners examined over 12 years’ worth of data to discover which of the main industrial players located in Europe was actively carrying out R&D for growth. The statistical and econometric analyses helped to deliver 41 publications, including 24 working papers, 6 technical reports and 11 policy briefs. Results confirm the positive impact of R&D investments on firm performance, as measured in terms of variables such as labour productivity, technical efficiency, sales growth and employment. Data was gathered on over 600 000 individual companies, representing about 90 % of the total R&D investments financed by the business sector worldwide. Such an effort led to a major breakthrough: patent and trademark data on top international R&D investors. This opens up new avenues for analysis related to firms’ technological portfolios and the location of their innovation activities. Researchers provided evidence and additional insight into the main reasons behind the lower levels of business R&D investments carried out in the EU. One key finding is that the majority of this R&D investment gap emerges from an insufficient number of large and leading innovative companies in key high-tech sectors that are headquartered and invest in Member States, particularly in ICT manufacturing and services sectors. IRIMA informed policymakers on the reasons for the EU investment gap in business R&D. Its broad range of documents should contribute to supporting the implementation and monitoring of Europe 2020.
Innovation, research and development, IRIMA, industrial research and innovation