The Swedish Agency for Growth Policy Analysis (Growth Analysis) carries out every second year surveys of the R&D of international enterprises (Swedish and foreign) in Sweden and also of the R&D abroad of Swedish enterprises. The most recent survey concerns 2007.
The large increase in R&D expenditure of foreign enterprises in Sweden took place at the end of the 1990s, and was mainly a result of some large acquisitions. The groups acquired have increased their R&D relatively more in Sweden than the groups which remained under Swedish control. The R&D of foreign controlled enterprises has decreased somewhat in Sweden during the most recent survey period 2005-2007 with a share of 41 per cent in 2005 and 37 per cent in 2007.
The Swedish groups have increased their R&D in Sweden over the last years and also increases have taken place abroad. Direct investment of Swedish enterprises in research and development have increased substantially in China, India, some countries in Central and Eastern Europe, as well as South America. The expansion in these areas resembles the expansion in R&D that took place in high wage countries during the 1990s, when the globalization of R&D accelerated and Swedish enterprises established R&D mainly in EU15 and the USA. But even though the rate of increase in R&D has been high in low wage countries, R&D in China and India, for example, only accounts for 1.7 and 0.2 per cent respectively of major Swedish groups' total R&D expenditure. This should be put into context where these two large countries have 40 per cent of the world's population and have a rapidly growing economy and demand.
The survey of Swedish groups' R&D abroad consists of a relatively small population and changes in this have an impact on reporting and volumes of R&D. Between 1997 and 2007 some groups had changes in the location of their institutional controlling unit. The most common changes in control have been that enterprises which were originally Swedish have come under foreign control. The groups also buy and sell enterprises carrying out R&D in Sweden and abroad.
Research and Development in enterprises in 2007