The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending May 19, 2023, closed at 2,737.80 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was up 1.45% (or 39.25 basis points). Sixteen of the 25 RDWI members gained value last week from 0.08% (Astra Zeneca PLC) to 5.18% (Cisco). Nine of the 25 RDWI members lost value last week from 0.17% (Ford Motor Co.) to 3.26% (Bristol-Myers Squibb).
RDW Index members IBM, Armonk, New York, and Google, Mountain View, California, announced last week that they have combined to provide $150 million ($100 million from IBM and $50 million from Google) for quantum-computing research at the University of Chicago, and the University of Tokyo. The collaboration was announced at last week’s G7 intergovernmental political forum in Hiroshima, Japan. The computing partnership is aimed at educating quantum specialists and other scientists in adjacent fields who can use quantum computers to solve problems.
RDW Index member Apple, Cupertino, California, last week was noted as restricting the use of OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other artificial intelligence (AI) tools (such as Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot which automates the writing of software code) by its employees as it develops its own similar technology. Apple is concerned that its employees who use these types of programs could release confidential data. Several organizations have become wary of AI technologies as their workers have begun using the for everything from emails to marketing materials and software coding.
The creator of ChatGPT, OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman last week warned members of a U.S. Senate subcommittee that if AI technology goes wrong, it can go quite wrong. Altman advised Congress to create licensing and safety standards for AI systems as lawmakers begin a bipartisan push toward regulating the new software tools available to consumers. OpenAI says it pre-tests and constantly updates its AI tools to ensure safety.
German automaker BMW, Munich, Germany, announced last week that its South Korean subsidiary had begun construction of a new R&D center near Seoul to strengthen cooperation with local companies. BMW already has an R&D facility located on the site of its BMW Driving Centre in Incheon. The new facility is scheduled to be completed in 2024 and will take on the operations of the existing Incheon center as well as focusing on autonomous driving, connectivity, and electrification. It will also establish collaborations with local suppliers and academic institutions.
Multinational food, snack, and beverage company Pepsico, Purchase, New York, announced last week that it is nearing completion of a $138 million manufacturing and R&D facility in Cork, Ireland. The R&D investment includes state-of-the-art laboratories for research teams and a new contemporary digital solutions suite. Researchers will work in digital, engineering, analytics, food science, sensory, and microbiology.
According to the CEO of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the next financial crisis could emerge from the firm’s use of AI. The CEO warned last week of the systemic risk posed by the technology’s proliferation. Data aggregators and AI could be major components of future financial system fragility.
The U.S. Supreme Court last week stated that patents for the cholesterol drug Repatha issued to Amgen, Thousand Oaks, California, should not have been granted by the patent office. The 9-0 decision makes it more difficult for pharmaceutical companies to obtain broadly worded patents used to block competitors from the market. The decision ends a lawsuit brought up in 2014 by RDW Index member Sanofi, Paris, France.
U.S. Marines and sailors stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, from 1975 to 1985 are much more likely to suffer from Parkinson’s disease than their counterparts who were stationed elsewhere due to hazardous chemicals in the drinking water, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA). Water processed for the base was contaminated by improper chemical-disposal procedures from an off-based dry cleaner, leaky underground storage tanks, industrial spills, and other problems for decades.
Energy companies, Oneok and Magellan Midstream Partners, both headquartered in Tulsa, Oklahoma, announced last week that they will merge to create the second-largest midstream operator in the U.S. with a purchase price of about $20 billion and a total market value of about $40 billion. Analysts questioned the viability of the deal due to $5 billion in Magellan debt and its high price. Both companies have negligible R&D investments.
Biotech Ocugen, Malvern, Pennsylvania, announced last week that it was planning to establish an R&D center in Telangana, India, which will focus on developing modifier gene therapies and regenerative cell therapy targeting unmet medical needs. The center will also work on vaccine development. Ocugen is Bharat Biotech’s partner in the development of the COVID-19 vaccine Covaxin.
Last week, RIKEN, Wako (Tokyo), Japan, and Intel Corporation, Santa Clara, California, announced a joint R&D venture in advanced computing technologies, including AI, high-performance computing (HPC), and quantum computing. RIKEN will engage with Intel’s foundry services to create new prototypes as part of the agreement. RIKEN is an established Japanese research institute focusing on the natural sciences. RIKEN research platforms include supercomputers, large synchrotron radiation facilities, and bio-resource facilities.
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 2020 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) which invested a cumulative total of nearly 260 billion dollars in R&D in 2019, or approximately 10% of all the R&D spending 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
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