Tech companies dominate as the most innovative in the world

Tech companies make up nine of the 20 most innovative companies in the world, according to PwC 2017 Global Innovation 1000 ranking – led by global online retailer,

Annual worldwide corporate research and development (R&D) spending broke through $700 billion in annual investment, according to PwC’s annual analysis of R&D spending across 1000 global public companies.

It shows corporate R&D spending increased a steady 3% in the past year, bouncing back from less than 1% increase previously, the group said; though it warned that the growing heat of rhetoric about economic nationalism could have a negative impact on where and how companies conduct research develop in the future.

“Major companies have been conducting some R&D outside their headquarters countries for decades. In 2015 it was determined that 94% of major corporations conduct their R&D in multiple countries,” it said.

“But increasing attention on regulations and policies for visas, labor movement, and the regulations governing the sharing of knowledge and technology are causing some companies to question how sustainable their integrated global innovation networks are.”

Amazon is the largest spender on R&D in the Global Innovation 1000 study, PwC found – the first time the top spender is a high tech firm. All top four spenders are high tech companies.

Overall, software and internet industry companies continued to increase their year-on-year R&D spending; however, the analysis shows that by 2018, healthcare companies will surpass computing and electronics to become the largest industry in terms of R&D spending – the first time in 12 years of analysis.

Computing and electronics, healthcare, and automotive are the top three industry sectors and represented 61.3% of global R&D spending in 2017.

Alphabet (Formerly Google), Amazon, GE, IBM and Microsoft also all increased their ranking in the 10 Most Innovative Companies list, according to a global survey of R&D executives.

R&D spending by companies based in China declined for the first time in the study, it increased in Japan for first time in 4 years, and continued to grow moderately in North America.

These are the 20 biggest research and innovation spenders

Strategy&, PwC’s strategy consulting business, identified the 1,000 public companies around the world that spent the most on R&D during the last fiscal year, as of June 30, 2017. To be included, companies had to make their R&D spending numbers public.

The Global Innovation 1000 companies collectively account for 40% of the world’s R&D spending, from all sources, including corporate and government sources.

Read: Mercedes-Benz launches their latest innovation – and it’s not a car

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Tech companies dominate as the most innovative in the world