Chemicals innovation spend holds up

Some positive news on innovation spend came my way recently. Anecdotal reports that chemical companies protected spending on innovation through the downturn were confirmed by the annual Booz & Company survey of the Top 1,000 corporate spenders on R&D.

It found that, for 2009 compared to 2008, the top publicly-listed chemical and energy sector spenders on R&D increased spend by just over 1% to $36.6bn. Healthcare, the second largest spending sector, after computing and electronics, also saw R&D spend slightly increase by $1.6bn to $113bn. Note, however, that revenues in this sector increased by 6%.

In contrast, innovation spending by the top automotive, computing/electronics and broad industrial companies was down sharply.

The top chemical industry spenders were:

Rank 2010      Company                    R&D spend 2009, $m
29                    Bayer                          3,829.1
60                    BASF                         1,949.4
73                    Dow Chemical            1,492.0
75                    Mitsubishi Chemical    1,475.9
81                    DuPont                       1,378.0
86                    Sumitomo Chemical    1,264.9
96                    Monsanto                   1,098.0
108                  Syngenta                       960.0
136                  Solvay                           773.9
153                  Asahi Kasei                   678.6

Source: Booz & Company

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