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U.S. Industrial Companies Plan More 2013 R&D Spending

Chip research (NSF)

(National Science Foundation)

Manufacturers in the U.S. expect to make research and development investments in 2013 at the same or higher levels as in 2012, according to a survey by Industrial Research Institute conducted last summer. The annual survey covered 141 medium and large companies mainly in chemicals, advanced materials, gases, food, industrial machinery, and consumer products.

Industrial companies overall anticipate increasing their total R&D spending in 2013, with half (50%) of the respondents indicating gains of 2.5 percent or more compared to 2012. About four in 10 companies (39%) expect to keep R&D expenditures at about the same level, while one in 10 (11%) plan to spend less in 2013.

The responding companies say their R&D in 2013 will go mainly for new initiatives, with six in 10 (59%) planning to spend more on new business projects. About two-thirds of the respondents (66%) expect to keep R&D investments on current projects at about the same levels. More than a quarter of the companies (27%) plan to spend more on basic research, with just under half (48%) keeping basic research at current levels in 2013.

A large proportion of the companies plan to increase their outsourcing of R&D to other companies. Nearly four in 10 respondents (38%) expect to boost their R&D engagements with other companies in 2013, while that same percentage plans to keep outsourcing at current levels. Most companies, some 60 percent of respondents, expect to keep their technology licensing deals at about the same level in 2013 as 2012 — both licensing their technology to others, and licensing technology from other enterprises.

Collaborations and joint ventures with other companies will continue to important tools for industrial companies, according to respondents. About half (51%) expect to increase participation in corporate alliances and joint R&D ventures, while four in 10 (41%) plan to keep their joint ventures at current levels. From two to three in 10 companies plan to increase other types of collaborations including universitia consortia (31%), grants to universities (24%), and contracts with federal labs (22%).

A large majority (76%) of the companies have research labs outside the U.S., mainly in Western Europe and Asia. China, Germany, the U.K., India, and France were the locations named by 20 or more companies.

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