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GLOBALOUTLOOK R&D


more than $5bn onR&Din 2020, fol- lowed closely by engineeringcompa- nies suchasChina Railway Group ($3.16bn), according to YCharts data. “We are in a boomofR&Dand


innovation acrossmany industries ... the churnof companies that are not being considered attractive compa- nies by [financial] investors is now more important and frequent than ever,” saysMrBaeza. “Either youare able to innovate


anddemonstrate youcan reinvent yourself, or youare going to fall out of this race of being a topcompany,” he concludes.


Methodology This ranking of theworld’s top 100 investors inR&Dworldwide relies on companies’ latest published annual reports and accounts for calendar years 2019 and 2020,where data is available. In the case that data was unavailable, or the company’s fiscal years did not end on December 31st, investment platformYChartswas used to find quarterly figures, which were totalled tomake up the full cal- endar year. Owing to different national


accounting and disclosure practices, depending on the country in whicha company is based, somecompanies are less likely to discloseR&Dinvest- ment consistently. It is only a legal requirement to publishR&Dinvest-


April/May 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com


ment in certain countries. Japanese companies were particularly under- represented in the analysisowing to a lack of available data on YCharts. WhenR&Dand revenue figures


were quoted in a foreign currency (e.g. yen, euros or renminbi) on com- pany reports, these were converted into US dollars using the exchange rate on December 31st 2020. There may be discrepanciesowing to the differences in exchange rates used by YCharts versus the above method. Every effort has beenmade to


improve thecomparability of the data, butowing to the diversity in accounting practices, exchanges rates and fiscal years betweenthe compa- nies included, this can be assumed to not becomprehensive. TheR&Dspending data included


in this analysis areR&Dexpenses. In short, this is theamount ofmoney that a company spends to develop new products and services each year, which includes, for example, the sala- ries of researchers and the costs of runningR&Dcentres. There is a con- tinuous debateamong accountants over whetherR&Dspending should be treated as an expense rather than an investment. WhileR&Doperations are global


in nature, this data refers toR&D spendingreportedby the entire com- pany,andthusdoes not take account of the actual location of the activity.■


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