Companies with the highest spending on research and development 2018

Amazon spent the most on research and development in 2018, with about 22.6 billion U.S. dollars. Alphabet, Volkswagen, Samsung, and Intel rounded out the top five of companies with the highest R&D spending.

Leading by innovation

Spending money on research and development, or R&D, is how a company innovates new technologies and conducts research to develop new products and services. R&D allows companies, such as Amazon, to stay ahead of their competition and work towards the future. Most of the R&D spending in the world is in computing and electronics, and the United States is the leading country for R&D expenditure in the world.

AI and R&D

Currently many companies are investing in Artificial Intelligence (AI) innovation, including the ethical implications of AI and how it can be used to better society as a whole. Major companies, such as Amazon and Alphabet, are throwing their collective weight into this issue and conducting research into its future applications. With the world’s leading companies spending billions of dollars on R&D, the future of AI is sure to progress quickly.

Ranking of the 20 companies with the highest spending on research and development in 2018

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Release date

October 2018



Survey time period


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Statistics on "Research and development (R&D) worldwide"

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