The average R&D intensity of the 30 publicly-listed Austrian companies with the highest level of annual R&D expenditures has significantly increased over the last five years. R&D spending in 2012 accounted for 3.6 percent of accumulated corporate revenue, this figure climbed to 4.3 percent in 2017, and even rose slightly by 0.1 percent in 2018. In contrast, R&D intensity in Europe fell from 3.6 to 3.4 percent. The propensity to innovate is reflected in the investments made in research and development. Whereas the 30 Austrian research champions spent EUR 641 million on R&D in 2012, this figure already rose to EUR 1.225 billion in 2017, or close to double the earlier amount. R&D spending even rose by 23 percent from 2016 to 2017. These are some of the conclusions of a study carried out by the auditing and consulting organization EY, which investigated the R&D budgets of the 30 publicly traded Austrian companies with the highest expenditures for research and development.
ams AG based in Premstätten in Lower Austria leads the ranks for the highest R&D spending. The globally operating technology group invested EUR 214 million in innovations in the year 2017, comprising a year-on-year rise of 54 percent. Voestalpine was rated second, with EUR 140 million in 2017, or a rise of six percent from the previous year, followed by KTM with investments of EUR 128 million, or about 20 percent more than in 2016. The fourth placed IT supplier S&T showed the largest increase in expenditures, featuring a rise of 386 percent from the prior-year level to EUR 115 million.