According to the strategy& study, the German automotive enterprises together spent (or plan to spend) a total of $28.6 billion in 2014. This represents a 12% hike against 2012 when this group spent $25.5 billion into R&D. The top spender was - no, not BMW or Daimler, the automotive OEMs who are widely perceived as the most innovative ones. It was Volkswagen, who again increased its R&D budget in 2014 by 18.9% to $13.5 billion. Daimler spent $7.0 billion, 4.8% more than in the year before. BMW raised its R&D budget by 6.5% to $5.5 billion.
In a global and industry-spanning comparison however, electronics and IT companies also spend heavily into innovation. Volkswagen, for example, beats Samsung only by a hair's breadth. The Korean electronics giant had an R&D budget of $13.4 billion, followed by Intel with $10.6 billion and Microsoft with $10.4 billion.
The strategy& study titled 'Global Innovation 1000' scrutinised the world's top 1000 publicly listed R&D spenders. Overall, the study shows that the R&D budgets grew only at a small margin globally. The strategy& researchers interpret this as a hint that the R&D resources have been spent more efficient than in earlier years. If innovation can be measured by R&D budgets, China has made the strongest progress: The far eastern country's enterprises within the top 1000 listed companies climbed by the factor of 25 since the year 2005, reaching the level of $30 billion in 2014. During the same period, the number of Chinese companies in this group rose from eight to 114.
The R&D budget depends greatly on industry branch. IT, electronics, automotive and pharmaceuticals constantly were had the highest R&D spending over the past ten years; between 2005 and 2014 they spend two thirds of all global R&D investments.
However, real spending does not necessarily correlate with perceived innovation strength. The strategy& researchers also polled top mangers in global companies which companies they regard as