Leading the Pack: Trends for the Top 200 Engineering Research & Development (ER&D) Enterprises 2021
Thematic Report

23 Sep 2021
by Akshat Vaid, Nishant Udupa, Aditi Garg, Nitish Dayal

Today, with technology becoming central to both product functioning and the delivery of high-impact experiences, Engineering Research & Development (ER&D) has become vital for enterprises to maintain their competitive advantage. While the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the ER&D market and affected enterprises in verticals such as automotive and aerospace & defense, it proved to be a driver for verticals such as software products and consumer electronics, which grew significantly due to increased consumer demand.

In this research, we present a fact-based view of the global ER&D market, with a focus on the top 200 enterprises with the highest ER&D spend across nine industry verticals. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, global business spend on ER&D activities reduced by 1.4% in 2020 to reach US$1.26 trillion, and the enterprises covered in this report accounted for 43.5% of this spend.

Our research studies the top 200 ER&D enterprises’ key investment areas, ER&D spend growth, and ER&D spend intensity or ER&D spend as a percentage of revenue. We also examine prominent themes driving growth in the ER&D space and note the advances in technology investments in cloud engineering, accessibility engineering, autonomous and connected vehicles, Internet of Medical Things (IoMT), additive manufacturing, and 5G adoption, among others.


  • Research area: engineering services
  • Geography: global
  • Industries covered: software products & internet, automotive, consumer electronics, semiconductors, industrial products, telecom equipment providers, aerospace & defense, medical devices, and telecom service providers


The report studies the following topics:

  • ER&D trends and priorities for the top 200 enterprises across nine industries
  • ER&D spend growth and ER&D spend intensity for all the enterprises studied

Membership (s)

Engineering Services

Sourcing and Vendor Management


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