Headquarters: Mansfield, MA, and Dublin
R&D spending fiscal 2011: $554 million
Priorities and Projects: Covidien ($COV) boosted its R&D spending in fiscal 2011 by more than $100 million from the previous year, a growth spurt largely tied to greater spending within the company's medical device segment generated by a large number of 2010 acquisitions, according to a regulatory filing, That year, for example, Covidien paid $2.6 billion for ev3, adding new vascular product offerings and research focus in areas including angioplasty balloons, plaque removal systems and catheters. Covidien also grabbed Somanetics in a $250 million deal, gaining access to cerebral and somatic oximetry technology. In 2011, Covidien continued its acquisition trend, paying $325 million for BARRX Medical, a developer of minimally invasive medical devices used with an endoscopy to remove precancerous tissue.
Covidien is also shifting some of its R&D investment to emerging markets. In September, it announced that it would build a 100,000 square-foot R&D center for China in Shanghai. Plans call for making the center fully operational by July, with a focus on creating new medical device technologies and surgical tools for the Chinese medical community and other emerging markets. The center will include "laboratory and operating theater simulation suites" in which clinicians and surgeons can participate in the design and development of new products.