Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Who's afraid of the big, bad wolf?
Apparently the EU, judging from this whopping commitment to R&D in ICT - EUR9bn over six years, making it the single largest component of the research framework program's budget. I'm not saying there's a causal relationship necessarily, but it is interesting to note that the DTI survey of the largest 1,250 companies globally determined that a third of total R&D spend derives from the tech hardware (19.2%), electronics (7.4%), and software/computer services (6.6%) sectors combined, yet only seven of the top 50 R&D spenders were European companies with significant exposure to ICT, and only two (BT and Ericsson) registered as coming up in the top 20 in terms of increases in spending compared to the previous year. It also looks to me as if European companies (in this survey at least) score poorly on R&D-to-patent conversion rates. Maybe the results are skewed because we're talking about just the big companies, but it's also interesting to look at venture deal flow in Europe - average deal size is up, but the deal pipeline looks significantly less active than a year ago.