The R&D World Index (RDWI) for the week ending January 5, 2024, closed at 3,174.32 for the 25 companies in the RDWI. The Index was up 0.89% (or 28.11 basis points). Fourteen RDWI members gained value last week from 0.07% (General Motors) to 7.52% (Merck & Co.) Eleven RDWI members lost value this past week from -0.57% (Facebook/Meta Platforms) to -6.69% (Intel).
The former Westside Pavilion shopping mall will be turned into a new 700,000 ft2 research facility, administers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), along with California Governor Gavin Newsom announced last week.
Located two miles from UCLA’s Westwood campus, the new site will be UCLA Research Park. The new research park will house the California Institute for Immunology and Immunotherapy at UCLA, the UCLA Center for Quantum Science and Engineering, and eventually, other programs. The conversion process will take more than three years to build out with another two years needed to recruit top-level researchers to work there. The former shopping mall shut down several years ago and Google leased the property in 2019 and planned to use it for office space, which never came about. Google helped enable UCLA’s acquisition. UCLA did not disclose the purchase cost, but analysts said it was acquired for about $700 million.
Results from the latest Higher Education R&D (HERD) Survey were published recently by the National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia. The HERD survey measures the monies spent annually on R&D at American colleges and universities. Total academic spending for FY2022 increased to $97 billion, an 8% increase over what was invested in FY2021, the largest annual growth on record. HERD is sponsored by the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics within NSF. The survey collects R&D data from 900 universities and colleges that grant a BS or higher and expended at least $150,000 in R&D in the prior fiscal year. The survey summarizes federal, state industry, and other funds a university spends on all its research activities. It also breaks down those expenditures by ten major fields, including computer and information sciences, engineering, life sciences, mathematics and statistics, and other non-science and engineering fields. Survey results can be downloaded at www.nsf.gov.
Electric automaker YD, Shenzhen, China, was listed by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, Beijing, as the best-selling pure (100%) EV maker in the world, overtaking Volkswagen as the most popular brand of any car in China. Sales of EVs, which include plug-in hybrids, grew 37% year over year in the first eleven months of 2023. More than one in three cars sold in China were EVs. BYD’s sales in China grew 62% in 2023. While its domestic sales have increased, its exports more than tripled from a year earlier. EV competition in China has grown particularly fierce with EV makers like BYD looking at exports to increase their margins.
Jeff Bezos, chairman of Amazon.com, confirmed last week his company’s continued investment in Anthropic, the AI startup behind the chatbot Claude. Perplexity, a startup going after Google’s 90% market share of search, has backing from Bezos and other venture capitalists. The VCs and other investors have invested nearly $74 million in Perplexity. Amazon has also invested billions, supposedly in Anthropic. Google, on the other hand, continues to invest billions to answer the widest range of queries possible in dozens of languages.
RDW Index member Google, Mountain View, California, recently announced that it was removing its cookie technology that logs the activity of Internet users across websites so that advertisers can target them with relevant advertisements. Marketers, advertising technology companies, and web publishers are working to ensure their businesses can weather the transition. Google has introduced software tools designed to replace cookies, but clients say that Google has not done enough to prepare the market.
Synopsys, Sunnyvale, California, is in advanced talks to acquire Ansys, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, for an estimated $30 billion. Synopsys makes software engineers use to design and test silicon chips used in smartphones, self-driving vehicles, and other forms of AI. Ansys helps engineers predict what will or won’t work in real-world environments. Ansys is used in aerospace, healthcare, and automotive industries.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will allow the state of Florida to become the first state to import drugs manufactured in Canada. The approval is the first step in reducing the cost of manufacturing medicines and could change how Americans fill their prescriptions. The Inflation Reduction Act gave the federal government legal authority to negotiate prices of certain drugs while effectively capping at roughly $3,000 the yearly out-of-pocket costs for drugs to Medicare Part D plans. Florida’s plans to import drugs are likely to face obstacles, including lawsuits from drugmakers and opposition from Canadian authorities. The FDA has also raised safety concerns about importing drugs if it cannot vouch for their quality.
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) that 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 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.