Tech companies spend more on R&D than any other companies in the U.S. – Recode

Tech companies lead top U.S. companies in R&D spending. Amazon is No. 1.

That’s notable because spending on research and development is a key indicator for U.S. productivity, a measure of how well our economy is doing, and productivity has been decreasing lately.

Amazon, Alphabet, Intel, Microsoft and Apple, tech companies spent more on research and development than any other companies in the S&P 500.


  1. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Tony Romm / Recode:
    Seven months after inauguration, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology still has no members; Trump admin says it’ll resume work soon

    A key White House science council is still vacant — but the Trump administration doesn’t plan to kill it
    Months later, there’s still no one sitting on the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

  2. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Amazon Isn’t Just Spending Big Bucks on Groceries
    The corporate giant has taken over research and development.

    It didn’t go totally unnoticed, but it probably deserves more attention than it has gotten: Inc. passed Volkswagen AG late last year to become the world’s biggest corporate spender on research and development.

    So an online retailer and entertainment provider with a big cloud computing operation — which is also, we learned today, about to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion — spent $17.4 billion on R&D over the 12 months ending in March. Well, sort of: Amazon doesn’t actually report R&D spending. Instead, it has a line item under operating expenses for “technology and content,” which it describes thusly in its financial reports

    AWS is Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud arm, which was once an experimental R&D effort but is by this point a big and profitable pillar of the company. I’m not sure that spending to maintain and improve its infrastructure is really what people think of as R&D. But the technology and content number is all we have to go on; plus, there are no hard and fast rules for what any corporation reports as R&D expenditure.

    What does this ranking signify? In terms of future corporate performance, not much. The consulting firm Strategy& 1 has been tracking R&D spending for more than a decade and found that the top-10 R&D spenders actually underperform their industry peers.

    Still, it is revealing to see which industries are the biggest R&D spenders.


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