Indian companies have come on the top globally when it comes to growth in their research and development (R&D) investments, leaving their counterparts in the US and Europe far behind, a new study by the European Commission shows.
However, Indian firms rank far below when it comes to absolute R&D investments made by them and the top-ranked company from the country, IT major Infosys, is ranked at 329th place globally, shows the latest annual global R&D Scorecard for 2012 prepared by European Union's executive body, the European Commission.
Japan's Toyota Motor is ranked highest, followed by US-based Microsoft, Germany's Volkswagen, Swiss pharma giant Novartis, South Korea's Samsung Electronics, American drugmaker Pfizer, Switzerland's Roche, Intel, General Motors and Merck US in the top ten.
The top-ranked Indian company is Infosys at 329th place, followed by Reliance Industries (507th), Dr Reddy's (776th), Tata Steel (867), M&M at (888), Lupin (916), Ashok Leyland (1136), ONGC (1,222), BHEL (1,230), Cipla (1,275), Cadila Healthcare (1,313), Glenmark Pharma (1,314), Sun Pharma (1,336) and Wockhardt at 1,472nd place globally.
These are the only 14 Indian companies present in a list of top-1500 entities worldwide in terms of their annual R&D investments.
Still, the largest increase in R&D investment was reported by companies based in India (35.1 per cent), followed by China at 28.1 per cent, the study said.
The R&D investment of US-based companies grew by 9 per cent, while that of companies from the EU rose by 8.9 per cent, shows the 2012 EU Industrial R&D Scoreboard report.
The growth rate for Japan was also very low at 1.6 per cent, as the Japanese companies suffered in 2011/12 from the effects of the Japanese earthquake, the associated nuclear disaster, the Thai floods and a strong Yen.
Swiss companies, who account for the largest number of entities on the top-1500 list, increased their R&D investments by only a modest 1.4 per cent.
"The largest increases in R&D investment were reported by companies based in India and China, although the total R&D for these two countries is still modest," the report said.
Globally, the companies increased their R&D investments by an average of 7.6 per cent, while they recorded sales and profit growth rates of 7.1 per cent and 9.7 per cent, respectively.
"Japanese company Toyota Motor appears at the top of the ranking in the 2012 Scoreboard. The top R&D investor based in the EU is Volkswagen, at number three in the world ranking and the only EU company in the top 10 (US has 5 companies, Switzerland 2 and South Korea 1)," the report said.
Pharma companies -- Roche, Pfizer and Merck – have slipped down in the ranking but remain among the top 10.
In terms of sectors, most companies showing very large R&D increases among the top 100 are in the ICT (Information, Communication and Technology) space, while companies from automobiles and parts, industrial engineering and electronics sectors have also registered strong growth in R&D investments.