The top spender was Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE: TM), which coughed up $9.9 billion in 2011 for research & development spending. Drug companies Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS), Roche Holding, and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) followed with $9.6 billion, $9.4 billion, and $9.1 billion in R&D spending respectively. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Samsung tied for fifth, with spending of $9 billion each.
So much for the objective part of the rankings. The top five companies when ranked by those surveyed were Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) at the top, followed by Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), 3M Corp. (NYSE: MMM), Samsung, and General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE). Microsoft finished sixth, Toyota seventh, with Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG), International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM), and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) rounding out the top 10.
The most innovative company, Apple, spent only $2.4 billion on R&D in 2011, ranking 53rd on that metric. So, not only did Apple spend about 75% less than Toyota, but it beat the Japanese carmaker in the overall rankings. Only P&G and 3M spent less on R&D than did Apple.
As a percentage of sales, Apple’s R&D spending came in far below the average of 6.5%. Apple spent just 2.2% of sales on R&D, with P&G the next lowest at 2.4% of sales.
Lists, like water, are for fighting over. Here’s the Booz & Co. report.