The R&D Index for the week ending May 17, 2019 closed at 4,655.71 for the 25 companies in the R&D Index. The Index was down -0.71% (or 33.16 basis points) from the week ending May 10, 2019. Nine of the 25 R&D Index members gained value from 0.10% (Google/Alphabet) to 2.43% (Roche Pharma). Sixteen of the 25 R&D Index member lost value from -0.18% (both Eli Lilly Company and GlaxoSmithKline) to -5.06% (Qualcomm).
Hewlett Packard Enterprise announced last week that it will purchase supercomputer maker Cray Inc. for $1.44 billion. Cray and HPE competitors include R&D Index member IBM, Fujitsu and Dell. Their products are deployed for scientific research, financial analyses and military/defense applications. IBM currently has the top two supercomputers located at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The U.S. Air Force announced last week that its first projects are ready for release to its membership in the Air Force Research Laboratory’s ARCNet portal, which facilitates collaborative R&D related to autonomous technologies for the AFRL. ARCNet membership is open to academia, large and small businesses and start-ups for autonomous system development. ARCNet was established in February through a cooperative agreement between AFRL and the Ohio-based SPG Institute.
Procter & Gamble last week unveiled the company’s largest R&D center, the Mason Business Center outside Cincinnati. The center will employ nearly 3,000 researchers in 2 million square feet. P&G spent $400 million to expand an existing site. The company also employs a total of 10,000 workers in the Cincinnati area.
R&D Index member AstraZeneca announced last week the hiring of Univ. of Calgary cancer researcher Sunil Verma to become the pharma’s VP and head of its cancer research strategy and global clinical leader in oncology R&D.
U.S.-China trade tensions in April led to a slowdown in the U.S. economy according to government reports last week. Retail sales fell 0.2% from March according to the Commerce Department, while factory output fell a steeper 0.5% in April from March, according to Federal Reserve data. Freight demands collected by the Cass Freight Index also dropped 3.2% in April from March, the fifth consecutive month the index has declined.