The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending October 22, 2021, closed at 5,391.27 for the 25 companies in the R&D World Index. The Index was down -1.19% (or -65.00 basis points) from the week ending October 15, 2021. The stock of 12 R&D World Index members gained value from 0.1.50% (Johnson & Johnson) to 5.77% (Alibaba). The stock of 13 R&D World Index members lost value from -0.05% (Facebook) to -11.57% (IBM).
On October 15, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro signed a bill sending $106 million earmarked for the country’s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to several other government departments. These funds came from taxes on Brazilian industries, including energy and biotech firms which went into the National Fund for Scientific and Technological Development (FNDCT). The $106 million allocated at the beginning of 2021 for the FNDCT were redistributed by the economics ministry in October to infrastructure, agriculture, health and education with the science ministry receiving only about 1% of the funds. With the promise of increased funding in early 2021, a universal call for research grant applications was made with about 8,000 proposals from 30,000 Brazilian and other scientists made now facing an uncertain future.
Following the lead made by General Motors and Ford, Toyota Motor Co. and Stellantis NV (formerly Fiat-Chrysler) last week said separately that they would build battery factories in the U.S. to support their automotive production plans. Toyota said it would invest $3.5 billion to build electric vehicle (EV) batteries through 2030, while Stellantis said it would team up with South Korea’s LG Energy Solution to build a new lithium-ion battery plant in the U.S. Toyota plans to sell about two million EVs globally by 2030, which includes an unannounced number of internal combustion-battery hybrids. Toyota has sold nearly 19 million hybrid EVs since they introduced their Prius in 1997.
The Transition Pathway Initiative (TPI) last week announced it plans to open a research center at the London School of Economics called the TPI Global Climate Transition Centre. The research center plans to collect and analyze data from 10,000 companies and publish/score its results on the companies’ management of their climate change plans. TPI is supported by more than 100 investment firms representing more than $40 trillion in assets. These firms include BlackRock, abrdn, BNP Paribas Asset Management and Legal & General Investment Management.
London-based Unilever last week announced a “reimagining” of its R&D processes to spur growth, with a new focus on automation and partnerships. The company said it now is focused on 30% fewer research projects, while the size of the remaining projects is about double the size of their previous research projects. The company has also doubled their product testing, measured against their competition. They state that they now have more than 60% wins in blind testing results, compared to only 47% wins in similar testing two years ago. Over the past two years, Unilever has entered into more than 500 intellectual property-generating partnerships in a broad range of biotechnology areas. Unilever’s activities in the U.S., India and China currently represent 35% of their revenues and are forecast to increase to 60% by 2030.
RDW Index member General Motors announced last week that it is more than halfway through shipping its newly assembled trucks which had been stored due to a shortage of semiconductor chips. The company expects to clear out its stored 2021 truck inventory by the end of 2021. GM’s Q3 deliveries will still be down by about 200,000 vehicles due to the chip shortage.
Electronic memory device manufacturer Micron Technology, Boise, Idaho, last week announced that it plans to invest more than $150 billion into its existing and new production facilities by 2030. The company said it plans to invest $12 billion in its current fiscal year, far above its traditional $3 billion annual capital and R&D investments. Micron also said it plans to expand its manufacturing capacity in Japan with plans for a new advanced DRAM chip manufacturing plant in the Hiroshima prefecture in western Japan. This new plant is expected to cost about $7 billion and started operating in 2024. Micron is also considering building a new memory factory in the U.S., in addition to its other facilities in Singapore, Japan and Taiwan.
RDW Index member Daimler, Stuttgart, Germany, announced last week that it had officially started operations of its new R&D Tech Center China in Beijing. The $172 million facility focuses on major technological trends including inspection, testing and validation for hardware and software-based automotive products. The 55,000-meter2 facility integrates an office building with an environmental testing facility, warehouse, workshop and testing-car parking lots.
The Biden administration last week said it is moving forward on regulations to limit the spread of several toxic chemicals considered harmful to humans. These include perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). Linked to cancers and various health problems, these chemicals have made their way into drinking water and the food supply. They’re resistant to biodegrading in the environment but are used in vast quantities for hundreds of applications. The new EPA regulations will likely become effective in 2022.
Japan-based Takeda Pharmaceuticals announced last week that they have revised their 2018 collaboration with Wave Life Sciences, Cambridge, Mass. The initial collaboration involved development and commercialization of Wave-developed drugs for Huntington’s disease, ALS and dementia. The revision follows after two of Wave’s experimental drug candidates failed in clinical trials. They are ending their alliance on discovery work but continuing preclinical testing.
Fitch Ratings, New York, last week released a report stating that China’s corporate entities increased their R&D spending over the past two years, outpacing GDP growth in 2019 to 2020. Corporate R&D/GDP rose to 1.84% from 1.26% in 2010. Fitch reported that R&D investments by central state-owned enterprises rose by 11.3% year-over-year to account for 49% of China’s total corporate R&D in 2020.
R&D World’s R&D Index is a weekly stock market summary of the top international companies involved in R&D. The top 25 industrial R&D spenders in 2019 were selected based on the latest listings from Schonfeld & Associates’ June 2020 R&D Ratios & Budgets. These 25 companies include pharmaceutical (10 companies), automotive (6 companies) and ICT (9 companies) who invested a cumulative total of nearly 260 billion dollars in R&D in 2019, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spent in the world by government, industries and academia combined, according to R&D World’s 2021 Global R&D Funding Forecast. The stock prices used in the R&D World Index are tabulated from NASDAQ. NYSE, and OTC common stock prices for the companies selected at the close of stock trading business on the Friday preceding the online publication of the R&D World Index.