BRUSSELS, Aug. 20 (Xinhua) -- EU business research and development (R&D) expenditures may increase by 4 percent from 2012 to 2014, according to a survey released by the European Commission here on Monday.
The survey, jointly conducted by the Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) at the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS) and the Directorate General for Research and Innovation, showed the importance that these companies place on R&D as a key factor for their future growth and prosperity, despite the current economic difficulties.
"This positive trend for corporate R&D investment is essential for European competitiveness," said Maire Geoghegan-Quinn, Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science.
"These companies are the main drivers in making the European economy more knowledge-based and smarter. Our future research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020, will give a further boost to innovative enterprises." she said.
The survey showed that the front runner in R&D was the software and computer service sector, which is expected to see its R&D investment grow by 11 percent per year on average.
Companies polled by the survey also highlighted the strong positive effects of fiscal incentives, national grants, EU financial support and public-private partnerships both at national and EU level.
In contrast, time needed to obtain intellectual property right protection and the costs of that protection were seen by many companies as key factors impacting negatively on their innovation activities.