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Why investing in R&D pays off

Borja Saki

Corporate Communication Senior Executive, Amadeus IT Group

Over the years, Amadeus has created, launched and developed numerous innovative products and services which have shaped the way we travel, from the very conception of the Amadeus GDS platform itself through to more recent product innovations such as Extreme Search, Affinity Shopper and Featured Results. And as Denis Lacroix mentioned earlier this month when outlining his views on the history of innovation at Amadeus, creative, different and out-of-the box thinking really is at the very heart of what we do at Amadeus: it's in our DNA and underlines our very reason for existing.

developing the idea

 

Of course, creative, different thinking can only be applied to new technology with serious investment. If you consider the people employed in the 16 Amadeus R&D centres alone (which incidentally span some five different continents) then staff numbers working in this field at Amadeus have actually multiplied 20 times since the company was first founded back in 1987. At the same time,investment into development generally has steadily grown in parallel over recent years, with accumulated spend now standing at circa 2.5 billion EUR globally since 2004.

Top Travel Investor

These achievements, and moreover this clear commitment to all-things-innovation, was once again recognized by the European Commission this week, which sees Amadeus listed as the top investor in R&D for the travel & tourism sector in Europe, now for the third year in a row, after publishing its 2013 EU Industrial R&D Investment Scorecard.

The report, published on an annual basis, examined the largest 1,000 European companies, and the world’s 2,000 largest companies, investing in R&D during 2012, ranking them according to the total amount invested. R&D investment at Amadeus reached an impressive €440.3 million in 2012. But more striking has been the overall growth in R&D spend, an increase of some 26.7% versus 2011, the highest rise at Amadeus since 2009. Furthermore, R&D spend as a percentage of our revenues has grown to now represent 15.1%.

Producing great innovations time and time again really requires a sizable investment in R&D – this recognition demonstrates just how central innovation really is to Amadeus, is something for everyone connected to the business to feel very proud of and shows why investing in R&D really does pay off.