Central Europe Corporate R&D Report
Results of a new DCE Corporate R&D Survey have been published. This year the survey was successfully carried out among 330 Central European businesses in ten countries in the region – Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.
“However, it is encouraging to see that nearly 90% of firms intend to maintain or increase R&D spending in the short and medium terms - this suggests that there is some confidence that access to R&D support will improve in years to come. Nevertheless, in order to constantly stimulate growth of funds allocated to R&D activities, introduction of mixed system of incentives (with grants and tax reliefs available) is perceived as desired” - says Sonja Ifković, Deloitte Tax Director.
The survey brought many interesting insights concerning the approach of local businesses towards research and development. Some of the most interesting facts and findings are the following:
- Availability of more types of incentives is still the most important factor affecting the level of expenditure on R&D. Cash grants are only slightly more frequently expected incentive than tax reliefs - mixed system, combining those two schemes, is perceived as the most effective way to support companies R&D activities;
- In order to keep present rising trend of companies’ share in R&D expenditure it is essential to adjust support schemes available in Central Europe to entrepreneur’s expectations;
- Predicted percentage of R&D expenditures is overally declining – more companies are allocating less than 1% and under 3% of their turnover for R&D, while those allocating over 10% have declined from 24% to 22.1% of the sample;
- Slightly pessimistic forecasts regarding R&D short term spending may result from ongoing works on support schemes under the EU 2014-2020 agenda and limited availability of grants;
- Increasing number of companies are collaborating with research units, indicating a trend towards strengthening co-operation between business and science. Rate of companies with their own R&D center is also growing and it results in fact that availability of skilled and experienced researchers is one of the most important factor influencing R&D expenditures;
- Possibility to cooperate with universities / research is still highly appreciated and desirable in R&D activities;
- IP / know-how are protected usually in the form of company secrets policy and trademark however companies declare, that the most effective is to combine different forms of protection and tailor them to specific needs of different sectors.