Monday 20 August 2012

European business still investing happily in R&D -- but not in pharma

According to the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC, "the European Commission's in-House Science Service"), leading EU businesses expect their investments in research and development to rise by an average of 4% annually during the period 2012 to 2014. This information comes from the 2012 EU Survey on R&D Investment Business Trends, which was published here today (thanks, Chris Torrero, for the link).

The results of this survey, which was carried out by the JRC's Institute for Prospective Technological Studies(IPTS) together with the European Commission's Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, are based on information from 187 of the 1,000 EU-based companies that were studied when the 2011 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard was prepared. According to the report:
"It is in the software and computer services sector that the expectations of growth in R&D investments over 2012-2014 are the highest, with an average of 11% per year. Like for most sectors, this is higher than the annual R&D investment growth rates observed on average over the 2007-2010 period. However, in the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector, the expectations for 2012-2014, at 3% per annum, are lower than the average rate observed over 2007-2010".
This blogger is hardly surprised at the unpopularity of pharma R&D investment. If he had any cash to invest, he'd plough it into the generic pharma sector, where risks are low, profitability high and it may be seriously questioned whether patents continue to offer any genuine incentive to invest. In contrast, Linux and open-source hardly qualify as a generic threat to software patents and copyright, though, which is presumably why investment is heading into the software sector and computer services sector.

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