Agnieszka Kleszcz

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Multiple studies have shown that Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has boosted the growth of the global economy and improved the quality of life. At present, a significant proportion of innovations and new patents are held by companies operating in the ICT sector.
This study has two primary aims. The first of them is an analytical comparison of industrial investments in research and development (R&D) in ICT-related companies in various countries from the European Union. The second is to examine the relationship between these investments and each country’s digital performance illustrated by the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI). The main contribution of this paper is a proposal of a means to determining the quantitative relationship between R&D and DESI as well as the identification of the most important DESI component. The author focuses on the largest R&D investors from a list of 1,000 companies, created on the basis of data published by the Economics of Industrial Research and Innovation (IRI), covering the years 2013–2019. Both variables (DESI and R&D) have a clear joint group structure found by Ward’s hierarchical clustering. Furthermore, an exponential law was identified predicting an increase of 18% in R&D expenditure when a 1 percentage point growth in DESI is observed. Among all the components of DESI, the applied random forest model proves human capital is the most important factor attracting R&D investments.
Moreover, a separate analysis of R&D relating to the analysed companies showed a growing trend in R&D investments with its predicted value reaching over 46 billion euro in 2021.


ICT sector, industrial R&D investment, Digital Economy and Society Index, innovation


O30, C10


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