Companies In Romania are planning to increase R&D investments, encouraged by new R&D grants coming up for the 2014-2020 EU funds programming period, shows the latest Deloitte CE study.
While more than half of the respondents (51 percent) said they would invest more in the following 12-24 months as compared to the previous year, 63 percent are planning to spend more in the following three to five years.
“The survey shows once more that well-functioning economies invest a significantly higher percentage of GDP in R&D. The advantage of comparatively cheap labour in Central Europe is to a certain extent negatively offset by the considerably lower expenditure on R&D in the region. We hope that highlighting these realities will encourage state authorities to implement further changes to stimulate investment in R&D,” said Tiberiu Negulescu, senior manager Deloitte Romania.
Companies are beginning to understand the importance of such investments, the study shows, with the number of companies reporting no R&D expenditures going down dramatically from one year to the other (29 percent in 2014 versus 16 percent in 2015).
Over one third of respondents (37 percent) spent between 1 percent and 5 percent of their turnover on R&D in 2015, while 22 percent spent more than 5 percent.
At the same time, almost three quarters of the respondents, (73 percent) believe that R&D costs increased the competitiveness of their product/services, similar to last year’s survey (74 percent).
Still, as these investments gain importance in the eyes of company representatives, almost half of the respondents are not familiar with R&D tax incentives and grants: 45 percent are not familiar with tax incentives and do not use them; 43 percent are not familiar with grants and do not use them.
This edition of the survey, with more than 400 participants, is mapping the situation in ten Central European countries: Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
At region level, numbers are similar, though more tempered, to our country’s, with 45 percent of companies planning an increase in their R&D investments over the next one to two years and 57 percent of them over the next three to five years.