Major South Korean companies' spending on research and development rose about 8 percent on-year in 2017, with the top seven firms taking up nearly 60 percent of the total, a state think tank said Wednesday.
The combined expenditures by the nation's top 1,000 firms in terms of R&D spending came to 46 trillion won ($40.9 billion) last year, up 7.9 percent from the previous year, according to the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology.
R&D spending by companies with a workforce of 1,000 or more accounted for slightly over 86 percent of the total.
Global tech behemoth Samsung Electronics Co. and six other leading companies invested a combined 26.4 trillion won, accounting for 57.4 percent of the aggregate.
Samsung was by far the largest R&D spender with 13.6 trillion won, followed by the home appliances giant LG Electronics Inc. with 3 trillion won, chip titan SK hynix Inc. with 2.5 trillion won and leading automaker Hyundai Motor Co. with 2.3 trillion won.
R&D spending by manufacturing companies, which account for nearly 80 percent of the 1,000 firms, stood at 41.3 trillion won, or roughly 90 percent of the total.
The institute also said R&D expenditures by the top 1,000 corporations have risen at an average annual rate of 7.7 percent over the past 10 years, with the sum taking up 3.8 percent of their revenue.
The firms' facility investments amounted to 40.9 trillion won last year, a similar level to that of the previous year, it added. (Yonhap)