By developing components and systems and putting them into series production, the Group is making an active contribution to the ongoing transformation toward emission-free mobility and thus helping to mitigate climate change. ElringKlinger has been working hard to develop alternative drive types for many years now. Both under its own steam and in partnership with customers, the Group is developing product solutions that help shrink the industry’s environmental footprint.
In the short to medium term, ElringKlinger is aiming to spend 5 to 6% of its revenue (including capitalized costs) on research and development (R&D) each year and, in so doing, invest in the Group’s future. Its strategic future areas centered around battery technology, fuel cell technology, drivetrain technology, and structural lightweighting remained the key priorities for R&D activities in the 2022 financial year.
Research and development ratio stable at 5.1 %
In the 2022 financial year, modifications and new developments were introduced in the traditional areas of Metal Sealing Systems & Drivetrain Components, Metal Forming & Assembly Technology, and Lightweighting/Elastomer Technology as well as in the E-Mobility business unit and the Engineered Plastics segment. R&D costs (including capitalized development costs) amounted to EUR 91.8 million in the 2022 financial year (2021: EUR 82.1 million). This corresponds to an R&D ratio of 5.1% (2021: 5.1%), which was thus within the target range of around 5 to 6% (including capitalized development costs). Out of this total, the amount capitalized was EUR 22.1 million (2021: EUR 17.2 million), giving a capitalization ratio of 24.1% (2021: 21.0%).
|Key figures R&D||2022||2021||2020||2019||2018||2017|
|R&D spending (in EUR million)1||91.8||82.1||76.1||80.8||87.2||75.9|
|R&D ratio1||5.1 %||5.1 %||5.1 %||4.7 %||5.1 %||4.6 %|
|Capitalization ratio2||24.1 %||21.0 %||16.2 %||20.7 %||12.7 %||5.9 %|
1 Including capitalized development costs
2 Capitalized development costs in relation to R&D costs, including capitalized development costs
As a technology-driven company and a strong innovator, ElringKlinger mainly focuses on transferring its own existing expertise to new applications. A total of 609 (2021: 591) staff were employed in R&D as of December 31, 2022. The growth in the R&D workforce was mainly concentrated in fuel cell technology, while the battery technology and electric drive unit (EDU*) teams also welcomed new R&D staff.
ElringKlinger always seeks legal protection for new developments on both a product and a process level. The centralized patent department unit is tasked with protecting the company’s technological expertise and intellectual property rights. In 2022, it applied for a total of 95 (2021: 105) new patents, particularly in the strategic fields of the future. Although the number of patents applied for has thus fallen slightly, it remains at a consistently high level when compared to the past few years.