When it comes to total dollars spent annually on research and development, no global company outdoes Japan's Toyota.
A study by Economics of Industrial Research & Innovation (IRI), one of seven scientific institutes of the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC), reveals that Japanese automaker Toyota led in total R&D dollars spent in 2009.
The study showed leading U.S. firms reduced R&D spending in 2009 by 5.1 percent, two times as much as the decline in R&D spending among leading European firms.
Toyota was also the biggest total spender on R&D in 2008, according to the study, which covers the top 1,400 global companies.
Among the trends in world regions determined in the study:
--During 2009, leading European companies reduced R&D investments "much less" than their U.S. counterparts despite a similar drop in sales and higher drops in profits.
--Japanese companies maintained R&D investment despite strong decreases in sales.
--Major companies headquartered in some Asian countries continued high R&D growth of previous years. China was up 40 percent, India was up 27.3 percent and Hong Kong R&D investment was up 14.8 percent.
--Three companies headquartered in the EU are among the top ten R&D investors (Volkswagen, Nokia, and Sanofi-Aventis), three companies headquartered in the U.S. are among the top ten R&D investors (Microsoft, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson) and one from Japan is in the top ten of R&D investors (Toyota).
--There were massive reductions in R&D investment by automotive firms in 2009, including Ford (32.4 percent), Renault (26.5 percent), and General Motors (24.1 percent).
--Companies boosting R&D investment in 2009 despite declining sales and profits included General Electric (10.1 percent) and Bayer (8.8 percent).
The 10 largest corporate R&D budgets for 2009 among all global companies, according to the study, includes: