Total investment in research and development by South Korea’s top 1,000 companies in terms of R&D spending rose 7.9 percent on year to total 46 trillion won ($41 billion) in 2017, led mostly by big manufactures, the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) said Wednesday.
According to data released by the KIAT, companies employing 1,000 or more invested 39.7 trillion won in R&D last year, accounting for 86.3 percent of last year’s total R&D investment by the country’s top 1,000 R&D companies. The list of seven companies that each spent more than 1 trillion won into R&D remained the same for the fifth year in a row, including the country’s household names Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, SK Hynix and Hyundai Motor. Their combined investment amounted to 26.4 trillion won, making up more than half of the total R&D investment.
R&D investment from the manufacturing sector reached 41.3 trillion won last year, taking 89.9 percent of the total investment by top 1,000 companies. Investment by non-manufacturing companies amounted to 4.6 trillion won, making up 10.1 percent of total R&D investment despite a 22.6 percent on-year increase.
The companies used 3.78 percent of their yearly revenue for R&D last year, data showed. Their capital spending jumped to 40.9 trillion won, up 6 billion won from the previous year, while the number of patents filed in the U.S. and Europe increased.
The rise in R&D investment, the number of patents applied for overseas and facilities investment by the country’s top 1,000 R&D companies will bode well for the country’s economy, said Kim Hak-do, president of KIAT. “The aggressive R&D investment by companies to prepare the fourth industrial revolution will play a key role in sustainable industrial growth and job creation in Korea.”
By Yeon Gyu-wook and Lee Ha-yeon
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