The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending July 16, 2021 closed at 5,203.90 for the 25 companies in the R&D World Index. The Index was up 0.27% (or 26.07 basis points) from the week ending July 9, 2021. The stock of 11 R&D World Index members gained value from 0.04% (Merck & Co.) to 2.99% (Alibaba). The stock of 14 R&D World Index members lost value from -0.07% (Cisco) to -6.01% (Ford Motor Co.).
Researchers at RDWI members Johnson & Johnson, AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford, U.K., along with others are conducting early-stage research to see if modifications to their COVID-19 vaccines and/or delivery processes can reduce or eliminate the risk of rare, but serious blood clots related to the vaccinations. Initial research in Europe, the U.S. and Canada reveal that re-engineering the vaccines could be completed by 2022. Blood clots have occurred in up to two patients per 100,000 vaccinations, however the risk of clotting is actually higher in the coronavirus itself. Both vaccines have also recently been linked to a slightly increased risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder.
Oklahoma-based Altus Power, a builder/operator of solar-power installations announced last week that it is merging CBRE Group, a Dallas-based real estate firm in a deal valued at $1.6 billion. Altus cuts deals with property owners to build and operate solar-power facilities on their land in exchange for discounted electric power. Altus expects to produce nearly 1,700 MW across the U.S. in hundreds of solar plants by 2024. Solar power generating capacity is expected to grow by about 200% between 2020 and 2030 by the Solar Energy Industry Association. Solar power installation costs have dropped by nearly 75% since 2009, according to industry analysts.
United Airlines Holding and Mesa Air Group announced last week that they are investing in Heart Aerospace, a Sweden-based firm developing a 19-seat electric aircraft, which is expected to begin service by 2026. United and Mesa have each agreed to order 100 of the ES-19 aircraft, once they are FAA-certified. United and Mesa earlier announced that they were investing in Archer Aviation, Palo Alto, Calif., and expect to purchase 200 of Archer’s electric flying taxis. The ES-19 is expected to have a range of 250 miles, in which United and Mesa have more than 100 routes in their networks.
Australia-based Altech Chemicals announced last week that it has opened an advanced battery materials R&D center in Saxony, Germany. The company also plans to build a battery materials high-purity alumina coating plant in the same location. The company hopes to apply high-purity alumina to precursor battery anode products for use in the fast-growing lithium-ion battery market for electric vehicles. Planned European gigafactories for Volkswagen, BMW, Porsche and Daimler are expected to consume up to 800,000 tons of EV-based anode materials by 2030. Initial environmental clearances for Altech’s Saxony site have already been obtained.
New Jersey-based GAF Energy announced last week that it has begun hiring personnel for its planned roof0integrated solar solutions facility in San Jose, Calif. GAF is hiring for roles in R&D, manufacturing, administrative and associated positions for the new facility expected to be operational by late-2021. Once completed, the new facility will serve as the company’s solar R&D and manufacturing center, which traditionally were outsourced to foreign countries. The sourcing move is being made to be closer to the source of high-tech personnel, according to GAF executives.
Connecticut-based Pratt & Whitney announced last week that it had opened its new ceramic matrix composites (CMCs) engineering and development center in Carlsbad, Calif. According to the company, the new R&D facility will be used to develop and low-rate produce CMC products for high-performance aerospace applications. The 60,000 ft2 facility will employ more than 60 researchers.
Semiconductor firm Broadcom, San Jose, Calif., is in talks to purchase software and R&D powerhouse SAS Institute, Cary, N.C., for $15 to $20 billion according to people familiar with the companies and a report last week in the Wall Street Journal. The proposed deal follows Broadcom’s purchase of CA Technologies in 2018 for $19 billion and the purchase of Symantec in 2019 for nearly $11 billion. The company was blocked from acquiring rival Qualcomm in 2018 by the Trump administration. The CA and Symantec acquisitions were considered a success and software now accounts for more than a quarter of Broadcom’s annual revenue. Broadcom’s market value is now listed as more than $200 billion.
U.K.-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) announced last week that it plans to sell more than a third of its 92-acre R&D site in Stevenage, U.K., for about $554 million. While selling 35% of the land, GSK said its existing R&D operations at Stevenage will be unaffected the plans which is the focus of more than $1.2 billion the company invests annually in U.K.-based R&D. The land sale would also significantly increase the space for new life science startups that would be based in Stevenage. Over the next 10 years, GSK sees developers investing more than $500 million in startups and creating more than 5,000 new high-tech jobs. The financial gain from the sale will give GSK to forge new biotech relationships, while retaining its own ability to discover and develop new medicines.
The world’s largest contract chip maker, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), announced last week that parts of the chip shortage plaguing carmakers this year will start easing in the next few months as its recent production ramp up starts taking effect. TSMC will increase its microcontroller device output by about 60% in 2021, however the general shortage will likely continue into 2022, according to the company. The company has started construction of a $12 billion fab in Arizona where more expansion will be possible, however that site will not come online until 2022.
Both the Federal Reserve and U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said last week that there will likely be several more months of rapid inflation before easing in the fall. They do not seek the same kinds of economic dangers as in the financial crisis in 2008. “It’s a very different phenomenon,” said Yellen. Consumer-based housing buyers are likely to be those most affected by the supposedly short-term interest rate increases. Corporate entities and those investing in R&D are not likely to be affected to any major degree, especially with the continuing overall global economic growth.
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.