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Horizon Europe Programme in a World and European Context

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Horizon Europe Programme in a World and European Context


Horizon Europe Programme in a World and European Context


The European Union‘s Framework Programmes for research and innovation are not among the biggest players in the world context. The largest industrial corporations have much higher R&D expenditures.

Participants in Horizon Europe calls, for which the deadline for submitting project proposals ended in 2021, reported an aggregate net EU contribution of €9.12 billion as of 26 April 2023. In comparison, 13 corporations listed in the 2022 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard had R&D spending in 2021 higher. Among them, the corporations based in the USA dominate – they were represented nine times (e.g. Alphabet, META, Microsoft, Apple, Intel). One each from China (Huawei), Republic of Korea (Samsung Electronics), Germany (Volkswagen) and Switzerland (Roche).


Another 25 corporations had R&D expenditures of more than €5 billion in 2021, i.e. higher than the Czech Republic's R&D expenditures in 2021. Eight of them were from the USA (e.g. General Motors, Ford Motor, Oracle, Abbvie, Cisco, IBM), also 8 from the EU (including 6 from Germany - e.g. Mercedes-Benz, BMW, Robert Bosch, Bayer, SAP, Siemens), 3 from Japan (Toyota Motor, Honda, NTT) and 3 from China (Alibaba, Tencent, China State Construction Engineering).

A further 161 corporations had an annual R&D expenditure of more than €1 billion. 62 of them were from the USA (e.g. Gilead, NVIDIA, Amgen, Raytheon, Tesla, Adobe), 31 from China (e.g. Baidu, Xiaomi, SAIC Motor) and 30 from the EU (including 8 from Germany – e.g. Boehringer Sohn, Continental, Merck DE, BASF – and 7 from France – e.g. Renault, Valeo, Schneider, Thales, L'Oréal).

The named American corporations focus mainly on IT (software and hardware), the pharmaceutical industry and biotechnology; German and French corporations operate mainly in engineering.


Summary: For Europe's largest corporations – German and French – contributions from the EU's Framework Programmes for research and innovation represent one of the items in their large budgets for research and development activities. A warning for the EU is the development R&D activities of Chinese corporations and their placement in the ranking of 2500 industrial corporations with the largest R&D expenditures.


Author: Vladimír Vojtěch, TC Prague,, 26.06.2023