A report released this month by the European Commission — Business R&D in Europe: Trends in Expenditures, Researcher Numbers and Related Policies — offers a snapshot of recent job-market trends in industrial research, with, as its main findings:
Over the 1995-2004 period,
* The number of researchers employed in R&D companies as well as R&D investments grew in line with Europe’s overall economic performance.
* The representation of industrial researchers among the total employed population increased by 25%.
* The representation of researchers among all industrial employees rose by more than 1%.
* As measured in 2003, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) provided a fifth of industrial R&D expenditure but employed a third of all R&D researchers.
* The manufacturing industry (which includes pharmaceuticals) remained Europe’s core industrial sector with around 80% of all industrial researchers and R&D investments.
* Among the manufacturing industries, the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors showed the greatest increase in researchers’ employment.
* The main driver of R&D-employment growth, however, was the service sector — in particular, computer-based services — which saw the number of researchers quadruple.
* Germany, the United Kingdom, and France remained the biggest European employers of R&D researchers.
More information on industrial R&D and changes in policy context across Europe can be found in the report.