ElringKlinger AG

Research & Development

High research and development ratio
Among other things, ElringKlinger’s corporate philosophy is all about being close to the customer, spotting trends early, and actively helping to shape innovation. The company has invested some 5 % of its revenue in research and development in recent years, a relatively large amount compared to the industry as a whole. These funds underpin the strong competitive position enjoyed by the ElringKlinger Group.

Research and development (including capitalized development costs) expenses amounted to EUR 75.9 (74.8) million in the 2017 financial year. This equates to an R&D ratio of 4.6 % (4.8 %), just below the Group’s target range of 5-6 %. Alongside investments in the Group’s traditional fields of business centered around cylinder-head and specialty gaskets, expenditure was directed in particular toward the Lightweighting/Elastomer Technology, Shielding Technology, and E-Mobility (battery and fuel cell technology) divisions. The Group is thus pursuing its strategy of prioritizing its highly promising areas of business when it comes to allotting significant resources.

  2017 2016 2015 2014 2013
R&D costs (incl. capitalized development costs)
(in EUR million)
75.9 74.8 71.2 66.5 65.7
R&D ratio (incl. capitalized development costs) 4.6 % 4.8 % 4.7 % 5.0 % 5.7 %
Capitalization ratio1 5.9 % 9.9 % 13.8 % 13.8 % 13.7 %

1 Capitalized development costs in relation to R&D costs, including capitalized development costs

Number of R&D staff increased
The strong culture of innovation at ElringKlinger is kept alive by creative minds. With 597 (570) employees, the company further increased the number of staff engaged in research and development in fiscal 2017. ElringKlinger has largely centralized its R&D operations to prevent technology transfer and a “brain drain.” Development activities are focused on the German sites forming part of the Original Equipment and Engineered Plastics segments and the US sites near Detroit, Michigan. The other locations are mainly responsible for minor development steps and modifications.

New patent applications surpass previous year’s level
ElringKlinger always seeks legal protection for new developments at both product and process level. Its central patent unit deals with the protection of technological knowledge and intellectual property, in addition to applying for patents in Germany and abroad. At 69 (68), the number of patents newly applied for in 2017 was up slightly on the previous year.