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The Business of Innovation: When factors like R&D growth are taken into account, the biotech, pharmaceutical, and technology sectors rank highly. But when it comes to pure budget size, industrial conglomerates and transportation companies are tops.
Industry sector Average rank by Innovation Index Number of companies in the top 2003 R&D spenders Average R&D 2003 ($Mil) Average R&D percent change Average absolute change in R&D spending ($Mil) Average R&D as a percent of sales
Biotechnology 22 $3 $917 28% $225 21%
Computer software 41 $7 $1,341 11% $111 18%
Pharmaceuticals/
medical devices
48 $28 $2,045 9% $176 14%
Semiconductors 50 $10 $1,318 1% $41 22%
Transportation 72 $26 $2,273 5% $72 5%
Computer hardware 81 $9 $2,251 0% $4 7%
Heavy machinery 84 $5 $663 9% $58 5%
Electronics/
electrical
90 $19 $1,616 0% $11 6%
Aerospace and defense 93 $8 $1,369 1% $29 6%
Telecom-
munications
100 $13 $2,156 -10% ($269) 11%
Chemicals 104 $10 $1,083 -1% ($19) 6%
Consumer products 108 $5 $1,043 2% $6 2%
Industrial conglomerates 109 $4 $2,490 -3% ($241) 4%
Energy 112 $3 $586 2% $2 2%
Source: Standard & Poor’s, Technology Review

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