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Industrial Research and Innovation Monitoring and Analysis (stage II)

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - IRIMA II (Industrial Research and Innovation Monitoring and Analysis (stage II))

Reporting period: 2017-07-01 to 2018-06-30

The objective of the IRIMA project is to generate science based evidence to support policy making in the above initiatives by monitoring, analysing and benchmarking the global industrial players in R&D, following the mandate given by Member States of actions to be implemented by the European Commission since 2003. These companies are responsible for very large shares of Europe's total business R&D investment and their global flows. Industrial players are key actors for innovation and harnessing globalisation in the framework of the Commission's strategy for renewing the industrial structure. Taking a company-based perspective and expanding beyond R&D by analysing other investment (intangibles assets), the technological profile, and location of companies, the project allows getting a better understanding of the main determinants and barriers for research and innovation investment in Europe and of their impacts in terms of productivity, growth and employment. The results by the IRIMA project have contributed to monitor and assess the progress towards the 3% R&D investment intensity target. One important contribution from the IRIMA project in this respect is to reinforce the evidence showing that for reaching such target, Europe needs faster structural change towards more knowledge-based economic activities and firm creation. Further, the project has deepened collaboration and dissemination in the science-policy-industry nexus.
During the reporting period, the IRIMA project has fully achieved its main objectives. It has ensured the continuation of collection of high quality data on main corporate R&D investors, covering a sample of companies representing about 90% of the total R&D investments financed by the business sector worldwide. The dataset has been enriched with extremely valuable data on subsidiaries (overall the total company sample includes more than 600.000 individual companies) and with novel data on the IP portfolios (patents and trademarks) of these global leading players. This data is open to the public (the data on IP portfolios has been jointly developed with the OECD and is available on-line upon request –COR&DIP database) and covers a period of more than 12 years. This offers enormous possibilities for analysis and better understanding of major innovation industrial activities and dynamics. Based on this data collection, the project has delivered the 2016 & 2017 editions of the EU R&D Investment Scoreboard and of the EU Industrial R&D Survey, and supported the preparations of the respective 2018 editions. Detailed summaries of the reports are available in the project's first and second interim reports as well as on the relevant project webpages. Both the Survey and the Scoreboard show that main industrial players with headquarters in Europe consider R&D and innovation as crucial strategic investments to keep and improve their current and future competitiveness. Further, a specific contribution to DG RTD's 2017 Innovation Union Competitiveness Report has been prepared in 2017. The IRIMA project has further exploited and analysed the data collected in view of gathering empirical evidence to support policy making in the areas of research and innovation and industrial policy. Here, the number of publications provides an image of the very high productivity of the team. In the reporting period, a total of 11 Technical Reports (including the annual Scoreboard and Survey), 14 Working Papers, 7 Policy Briefs, 9 articles in scientific peer reviewed journals, and 3 other reports were produced. The Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboards are the most downloaded publication of the JRC (about 35000 downloads/year), followed by the Surveys (about 5000 downloads/year), Working Papers and Policy Briefs (between 500 and 1500 downloads/year). Collaboration and dissemination in the science-policy-industry nexus is at the top of the agenda for achieving impact of the project results. In 2016-17, the team organised 6 workshops in Brussels related to the project, participated in around 15 international scientific conferences, and undertook around 70 missions to participate in meetings with stakeholders in- and outside the EU. Around 20 scientists and policymakers have presented their work in seminars organised upon invitation by the team at the JRC facilities in Seville.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact included the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far. Here, an important aspect of the socio-economic impact of this project is the provision of reliable data for measuring industrial R&D and benchmarking companies. These data on the top 2500 R&D investing companies worldwide, plus the EU 1000 counterparts, are adjusted to a reliable methodology and made publicly available on the project website every year in December. These data have a time-lag of less than one year, compared to the at least 3 to 4 years time-lag of official statistics as those released by Eurostat. This makes the Scoreboard data a highly valuable tool for scientific and policy analyses. The socio-economic impact is further enhanced by the project team's own analyses. One important activity of this project has been the organisation of IRIMA Workshops, a way to confront and disseminate results with main project stakeholders: policy-makers, industry representatives and academic experts. A total of four workshops have been organised in 2016&17 and all materials (summary reports, presentations, list of participants, agendas, and background documents) are available at the project website. This project has been subject to a Final Review by external experts, spanning the subjects accomplishment of the project, quality and relevance of the topics analysed and the products in academic and policy terms, impact and scope and perspectives for further developments. Four external experts have reviewed the project and held a review statement which was discussed at a workshop on 25 May 2018 with stakeholders from the Commission, OECD and WIPO. The final review statement refers to the current reporting period and has been transmitted as project deliverable. The review was highly positive on the results obtained, which are found to be highly policy relevant. The review also suggested areas for thematic focus and positioning for the future, e.g. around innovation missions, methodological improvements, and further efforts for exploiting and disseminating the results. For this purpose, it is foreseen to build on support from the policy DG in charge of the project, other Commission services and policy and industry stakeholders. Apart from these workshops, a wide range of dissemination channels have been used. Further, the results of WP2 also included theoretical and methodological analyses contributing to the advancement of analytical approaches of our key topics, e.g. via the use of machine-learning approaches.
IRIMA website