In 2020/21, we increased our investments in innovation by 12% with R&D expenses of EUR 142 million, corresponding to an R&D to sales ratio of 7%. The continued investments contributed
to the successful launches of several new products, including iF Design Award winner Signia Active Pro and the new two-processor Signia Augmented Xperience platform. There were also leading artificial intelligence innovations in the My Sound Application from Widex.
As part of the merger integration, WS Audiology launched a program in 2019 to build the strongest R&D powerhouse in the industry, with unified processes and improved performance and output. Despite the disruption from COVID-19, these efforts continued in 2020/21. WS Audiology strengthened the specific competencies and capabilities in each of the three R&D centers and the utilization of these skills across the Group.
WS Audiology’s long-term commitment to innovation and its position as a pioneer in the industry was further underlined in April 2021 when we were ranked as the top patent applicant for
conventional hearing assistive technology by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in its assistive technology trends report. It uses patent and other data from 1998 to 2019 to provide factual evidence on innovation in the global assistive tech landscape.