44 Taiwan companies on top-1,000 list of R&D investors outside Europe


BRUSSELS — Forty-four Taiwan companies were ranked among the world’s top 1,000 non-EU companies investing the largest sums in research and development in 2006, according to a report released recently by the European Commission’s Joint Research Center.

The 2007 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, published in early October, shows that the largest number of companies on the list were from the United States and Japan.

The 44 Taiwan companies on the list covered the areas of semiconductors, electronic equipment, computer hardware, electrical components and equipment, personal goods, fixed line telecommunications,automobiles and parts, electricity, leisure goods,industrialmetals,computer services,and industrial machinery.

They included Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co., which ranked 120th for investing 374.15 million euro (US$528.75 million) in R&D in 2006; BenQ Corp., which ranked 132nd for investing 349.55 million euro; and Hon Hai Precision Industry, which ranked 176th for investing 248 million euro.

The annual report indicates that corporate R&D grew by 10 percent for 2006, with EU-based companies increasing their R&D investment by 7.4 percent.

Total R&D investment by the top 1,000 EU-based companies and the top 1,000 non-EU companies amounted to 372 billion euro, accounting for more than 85 percent of the world’s total, according to the report.

Worldwide, the U.S.-based pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. was the largest R&D investor in 2006, spending 5.76 billion euro in this regard.

Among EU countries, the Germany-based automobile manufacturer DaimlerChrysler took top spot for spending 5.23 billion euro on R&D in 2006.

By sector, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies invested the most in R&D in 2006, overtaking equipment sector and technology hardware companies.

Meanwhile, the report shows that EU companies continued to increase their R&D investment at a lower rate than companies in the rest of the world last year.