The 2009 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard gives some interesting facts and figures on the biggest spenders on research & development - R&D that will, hopefully, also lead to some IP.
From the press release:
Worldwide corporate R&D investment increased by 6.9% in 2008, in spite of the economic crisis. With an 8.1% increase, the R&D investment growth of EU companies', defined as companies having headquarters within the EU, is significantly higher than US ones for the second year, at 5.7%, and Japanese ones, at 4.4%. Two EU companies feature in the top ten: Volkswagen in the 3 rd place with an R&D investment of €5.93 billion and Nokia in the 8 th . The world's biggest investor in R&D was Toyota Motor, with €7.61 billion. The report also shows that companies from emerging countries have the highest R&D investment growth.
Two EU companies, Volkswagen and Nokia, are among the top 10 R&D investors; five from the US, including Microsoft, and General Motors, Pfizer; and one from Japan, Toyota, at the top position (see graph above; despite the title, only the 20 largest investors are shown here. Click for enlargement).
US companies have reinforced their leading position in the high R&D intensity sector, by increasing their investments by 35% in the last four years against only 13.6% in the EU companies. While the total US high R&D intensity sector is twice the size of the EU one in terms of R&D investment, EU companies in this sector show similar performance than US competitors in terms of R&D and related indicators.