New Report on R&D: Bureaucracy is a problem but Europe has advantages

New Report on R&D: Bureaucracy is a problem but Europe has advantages

The preliminary key findings concerning industrial research and development in Europe, resulting from a comprehensive Euroscience study, are:

Personal motivation and perspectives

• Mobility: R&D personnel in Europe (respondents) are slightly more willing to move and work abroad (if their company suggests it) than to another location in the same country.

• Start-up: Only about one-fifth of the companies in which respondents are working support the creation of spin-offs. The majority of respondents in this study would be willing to work in a start-up company. However, when it comes to creating one themselves they risk financial loss and many do not feel prepared enough in finance and administration. There is a certain lack of confidence with regard to attracting venture capital or credits.

• European diversity: Exactly 25 percent of the participants who are non-native speakers of mainly the English language admit that their working language is at least sometimes a barrier to effective communication. About 80 percent of all respondents say that the knowledge of a foreign language is indispensable in their work.

Global and structural issues

• Competitiveness: Two main factors were identified by the respondents in order to improve industrial R&D competitiveness in Europe: (1) less bureaucracy and (2) making R&D work more attractive for potential personnel.

• Investment forecast: Regarding R&D investment in their companies, the majority of the participants predicts that there will be little change over the next five years, possibly a slight decrease in investment.

• R&D Management: Most R&D personnel (respondents) consider that good management is a prerequisite for researchers to unfold their capabilities to a maximum. When asked about their approach to the optimization of workflow and processes in their departments, the majority answer that it is most important to focus on the main activities.

• Public research: Personal contacts with researchers in the public sector are of great benefit to industrial R&D personnel and their companies. Most of these personal contacts are with researchers in universities.

• European environment: The majority of participants think that better education and better qualified personnel offer an advantage to industrial R&D in Europe as compared to North America and Asia. Governmental over-regulations and low public acceptance for new technologies are the main disadvantages faced by industrial R&D in Europe compared to other regions.

The report was produced by Claus Hillebrand, and based on a questionnaire. The report was published by Euroscience. 900 respondents answers were used.

Read more about Euroscience here.

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