R&D Activities of Flemish Companies in the Private Sector: An Analysis for the period 1998-2002
The second chapter of this Study analyses the results of the last two surveys (2000 and 2002). These surveys cover a period of rapid expansion of R&D-activities in the Flemish economy. The BERD has grown on average with nearly 13% yearly between 1998 and 2001. The most important characteristic of Flemish business R&D is the very strong concentration of R&Dexpenditures in a few big firms (the top 5 stands for 63% of the expenditures of all permanent R&D players) and in a few sectors (66% in the chemical ICT sector). This concentration has been increasing even further during this period of expansion and re-inforced tendencies of outsourcing (up to 23%), the capital intensity of research, as well as in a shift from research to development (the latter from 70 tot 77%). Another characteristic is the predominance of foreign decision power: nearly 90% of R&D expenditures are performed in foreign controlled enterprises. But those firms are well integrated in the Flemish innovation system. R&D cooperations have been executed for the larger part (45%) with Flemish partners, and they receive the larger majority of R&D outsourcing. R&D is mostly product oriented (62%, vs. 24% process oriented); 56% of R&D actors have introduced new or technologically improved products and 40% new or technologically improved processes during 2000-2001.
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