Measuring innovation is not a simple matter, but when it comes to large companies, investment in research and development (R & D) seems to be a good criterion.
According to a report by the European Union (EU) last year, no one did more than Samsung, with 13.44 billion euros ($ 57.4 billion) invested, which gave the South Korean company ranking first place in the EU R & D Scorecard of 2,500 companies in 46 countries that spend the most on R & D.
That also explains why Samsung, with 5,850 patents, was the second company to record the most innovations in the EU last year, according to a survey by the consulting firm IFI Claims, in which IBM appears first.
According to IFI Claims, the South Korean company is also the worldwide company with the most active patents in the United States, with 61,608. The second is Canon, with 34,905.
This R & D bet is clearly paying off: according to the EU report, Samsung was the fifth company to have increased its net income (the difference between revenue and costs), with a 19% increase.
Competition in this area is intense, especially in the information and communications technology industry.
Of the ten largest R & D investments in 2018, six are linked to the sector.
The second largest investor was Alphabet, the multinational that owns Google and its subsidiaries, with 13.39 billion euros (R $ 57.2 billion). Fourth, there’s Microsoft. China’s Huawei comes in fifth.
Results from EU R & D Scorecard indicate that Huawei invested more in innovation than Intel, which ranked sixth, and Apple seventh.
The top 10 companies that are not linked to the world of technology companies are manufacturers of Volkswagen (3rd) and Daimler (10th), Roche (8th) and Johnson & Johnson (9th), which makes pharmaceuticals, utensils medical and personal hygiene products.
The champions of innovation (in euros)
- Samsung: 13.44 billion
- Alphabet: 13.39 billion
- Volkswagen: 13.10 billion
- Microsoft: 12.30 billion
- Huawei: 11.30 billion
- Intel: 10.90 billion
- Apple: 9.70 Billion
- Roche: 8.90 billion
- Johnson & Johnson: 8.80 Billion
- Daimler: 8.70 billion
Brazil is the best represented Latin American country
Most of the R & D investment by companies is made in the United States, where 37% of the more than 736.4 billion euros (R $ 3.15 trillion) spent in 2018 came from this. This total represents about 90% of all R & D spending when accounted for by the public and private sectors. The value increased by 8.3% over the previous year.
The EU countries accounted for 27% of this total of 736.4 billion euros. Japan (14%) and China (10%), in turn, came next. South Korea and Switzerland each invested 4% of that amount.
In the ranking of investment in innovation, there is no Latin American company in the top 100. Embraer aircraft manufacturer is the region’s best-positioned company in 323th place. Brazil is the best represented country in the ranking with six other companies: Vale (387th), Petrobras (449th), Totvs (1010th), Weg (1283th), CPFL Energia (1699th) and Brasken (1768th).
Three other countries have one representative each: Venezuela, with state oil company PDVSA (675th), Mexico, with construction materials maker Cemex (999th), and Argentina, with travel company Despegar (1,221º).