Field: Internationalisering

Research and Development in enterprises in 2019

This report is based on a questionnaire study of R&D investments in Sweden and abroad carried out by major Swedish-owned enterprise groups, and on processed statistics from Statistics Sweden’s survey “R&D in the business enterprise sector”.

R&D in major Swedish-owned international groups of companies

In 2019, the major Swedish-owned international groups invested SEK 93 billion in total in R&D, which is about 12 percent more than in 2017. There were roughly 60 000 full-time equivalents (FTEs) in 2019, which is an increase of just under 2 percent compared with 2017. Over time, the major Swedish groups have placed an increasingly large percentage of their R&D on their own staff abroad, while investments in Sweden have remained largely unchanged.

In 2019, R&D intensity in Swedish-owned groups, that is, the percentage of R&D FTEs as a share of the total number of employees, was twice as high in Sweden as abroad. At the same time, R&D intensity in low- and middle-income countries has more than doubled in the past 12 years.
The main reason for enterprises to locate R&D in Sweden is the access to R&D labour and knowledge centres. However, statistics show that the importance of these reasons has decreased over time and meanwhile, an increasingly large percentage of corporate R&D investments has been located to low- and middle-income countries.

R&D in Sweden

The bulk of all R&D activities in Sweden is performed in the business sector. In 2019, R&D investments in the service sector approached industrial sector levels. Since 2017, enterprises’ expenditures for intramural R&D have increased more among Swedish-owned enterprises in Sweden than among foreign-owned enterprises.

In the past ten years, Swedish-owned enterprises’ R&D investments have declined as a percentage of total R&D investments in the business sector. Foreign-owned enterprises are thus becoming increasingly important for R&D investments among enterprises in Sweden. Among foreign-owned enterprises, Chinese-owned enterprises had the largest R&D expenditures in Sweden in 2019. These were followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, the United States, Switzerland, Japan, and the Netherlands.

Research and Development in enterprises in 2019

Serial number: Statistik 2021:05

Reference number: 2021/6

Download the report in swedish Pdf, 733.5 kB, opens in new window.

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