ICT Industry Analysis


Prospective Insights on R&D in ICT



Phase 1:

Starting date: March 2008

Duration: 38 months (ended in April 2011)

Phase 2:

Starting date: May 2011

Duration: 50 months (until June 2015)


Objectives &

Policy Relevance


Scientific Publications




  • The main objective of the PREDICT project is to provide an analysis of private and public R&D investments in the EU Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector
  • It also analyses ICT R&D performance through a worldwide analysis of patenting in ICT
  • It developed in its first phase an analysis of the increasing internationalisation of ICT R&D
  • In its second phase that started in 2011, PREDICT will also analyse macroeconomic impacts of ICT R&D through a modelling approach



PREDICT has become a unique source of information on ICT R&D investments in the EU, also benchmarking them against those of the EU's main global competitors. PREDICT combines in a unique way three complementary perspectives: national statistics (covering both private and public R&D expenditures), company data, and technology-based indicators. It relies on the latest available official statistics delivered by Member States, Eurostat and the OECD. This data still contains gaps and where this is the case, rigorous cross-checking and estimating methods have been applied by JRC-IPTS to provide the study with the necessary set of data.

PREDICT publishes annual reports. The analysis published in 2011 includes data up to 2008. For the first time in 2011 the annual report was complemented by three additional reports further developing some of the key themes addressed by the project, such as, R&D investments by the world top-R&D investing companies from the ICT sector, performance of ICT R&D, and internationalisation of ICT R&D (see "IPTS Reports" below).

PREDICT is co-financed by JRC-IPTS and the Communications Networks, Content and Technology Directorate General of the European Commission.

PREDICT's multiannual analysis confirms the consistency of the data over time and offers a privileged view of the major ICT R&D trends across those years (2002 – 2008):

  • Worldwide, the ICT industry maintains its position as the leading R&D investing sector, due to its dynamism, its innovative capacity and the fact that it supplies general purpose technology to the rest of the economy.
  • In the EU ICT sector, services account for the lion’s share of value added, employment and R&D growth. The bulk of R&D spending takes place, however, in manufacturing.
  • The 2008-2009 financial crisis had a strong impact on the ICT industry and its R&D, worldwide, but strong recovery followed in 2010.
  • Europe has been, and is still, lagging behind its main competitors in terms of ICT R&D investment and ICT R&D patenting. The R&D investment lag is largely due to the size of European ICT companies. As compared with US ICT companies, they are smaller and did not grow as fast in the last decades. This is a particular weakness in the most promising segments, for example in the Computer Services and Software ICT sub-sector, where EU Internet companies have failed so far to achieve a truly global scale.
  • ICT R&D investments by firms from Asia as a whole are rising more rapidly than those by firms from the EU or the US, but are still comparatively lower.
  • While ICT patenting by EU and US-based inventors has remained stable in the last decade, ICT patenting by China-based inventors has boomed. This was also the case for Korea, where it started 10 years earlier.
  • International cooperation in ICT R&D is evolving from a dominant EU-US relation towards global networking, where the US-Asia relation is taking a growing share. Here also, it seems that US companies are able to grasp opportunities more rapidly than EU ones.

The main results of the first phase of PREDICT (2008-2011) are summarised in: Presentation on Prospective insights on ICT R&D (PREDICT).

In light of the current political agenda and of the importance of ICT R&D as well as its impacts on the economy, there was a clear and expressed need to continue monitoring ICT R&D investments in the EU beyond the first phase of PREDICT that ended in April 2011.

Such need encompassed the ambition for longer time series, wider geographical coverage, further investigation of the public support for R&D -a particularly important issue since doubling of public funding of ICT R&D in the EU by 2020 is a specific Digital Agenda target-, and deeper analysis of the macroeconomic impacts of ICT R&D in order to assess the complex impact of ICT on the economy.

A second phase of PREDICT therefore started in May 2011 and will run until June 2015.



Policy relevance:

The Digital Economy and Society is one of the priorities of the European Commission to ensure growth and lasting recovery from the current economic crisis. Today, to compete on a global scale, Europe has to continuously reinforce a solid knowledge base in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), shape ICT developments and make the best use of ICT innovations at the earliest stage.

This is the purpose of the Commission's "Digital Agenda for Europe", one of the seven Flagship Initiatives under the Europe 2020 strategy adopted in June 2010, and which proposes seven key areas to harness the true potential of ICTs for the benefit of Europe's citizens, businesses and the economy as a whole. In particular, it intends to boost cutting-edge research and innovation in ICT and calls for doubling annual total public and private spending on ICT R&D by 2020 (the European Commission released on 31st May 2011 the first Digital Agenda Scoreboard that gives data and analysis of progress so far with its implementation).

ICTs are a central building block of the European Digital Economy. ICTs contribute to more than 40% of overall productivity growth. The sector represents 4.5% of European GDP and even more if the value added of ICTs in other sectors is also accounted for. ICTs are also essential to address Europe's societal challenges. The importance of ICTs is reflected in R&D budgets worldwide, where they typically represent close to 30% of the total. This also shows that we are still at the early stages of the ICT deployment phase. ICTs provide essential infrastructures and tools for knowledge creation, sharing and diffusion, and boost the innovation capacity of all sectors of the economy.




IPTS Reports:


Scientific Publications:


Related Events (organised by JRC-IPTS):

  • Workshop: "Modelling the economic impact of EU ICT R&D expenditure" - Seville (Spain), 16 April 2012. More information...
  • International Conference: "Global ICT industry: changing landscape? - The future of European ICT R&D" - Brussels (Belgium), 19-20 October 2011. More information...
  • Conference: "ICT Research and Innovation Challenges in Eastern European Member States (EEMS)" - Budapest (Hungary), 11 November 2011. More information…
  • International Workshop: "The ICT landscape in BRICS countries: lessons from emerging economies (R&D, innovation and trade)" - Johannesburg (South Africa), 5 October 2011. More information...
  • 3rd Workshop: The Output of R&D activities: Harnessing the Power of Patents Data - Seville (Spain), 13-14 June 2011. More information...
  • Conference: "ASIAN RISE IN ICT R&D – Looking for evidence: Debating collaboration strategies, threats and opportunities" - Brussels (Belgium), 16 - 17 February 2011. MORE information...
  • Workshop: "The Output of R&D activities: Harnessing the Power of Patents Data - II" - Seville, 27-28 May 2010. More information...
  • Workshop: "Internationalisation of ICT R&D" - Seville, 22-23 October 2009. For more information see:

Participation to Conferences and Seminars:

  • TPRC 41 Conference, Arlington, Virginia, USA, 27-29 Sept. 2013.
    Presentation of a research paper comparing the ICT industry of the EU, US, Japan, China, Korea and Taiwan. Available at: http://www.tprcweb.com/tprc41-sunday-paper-sessions (under Competition & Innovation 5)
  • ITIF, Washington DC, USA, 7 April 2011. Presentation of research activity on patent data in the PREDICT project.
  • USPTO, Alexandria, USA, 6 April 2011. Presentation of research activity on patent data in the PREDICT project.



Project Leader: Giuditta de Prato