New Delhi: Automobile giant Tata Motors has pipped giants like Reliance Industries and Infosys to become India's top-ranked company for research and development (R&D), as per a list compiled by the European Commission.

In its annual R&D Scorecard of the companies from across the world, the European Union's executive body European Commission (EC) has ranked Tata Motors at the top among the 18 Indian companies on its list, compiled on the basis for investment towards R&D and business innovation initiatives.

Among Indian firms, Tata Motors is followed by IT firms Prithvi Information Solutions and Polaris Software, state-run BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals) and another auto giant Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) in the top-five.

IT giant Infosys is placed at 10th position among the Indian firms, followed by Mukesh Ambani-led retail-to-energy titan Reliance Industries (RIL) at 11th position.

Pharma giant Dr Reddy's Laboratories is at 8th, while the country's most valued PSU and oil major ONGC is at 17th.

Other Indian firms on the list include Kpit Cummins Info (6th among companies from India), Zylog Systems (7th), Lupin (9th), Core Projects & Technologies (12th), Bharat Electronics (13th), Ashok Leyland (14th), Cipla (15th), Sun Pharmaceutical Industries (16th) and FCS Software Solutions (18th).

The global list is topped by Swiss pharma giant Roche, followed by American drugmaker Pfizer, software giant Microsoft, Japanese auto giant Toyota and US-based pharma major Merck in the top-five positions.

No Indian firms have managed to find a place in the top-200 list and the top-ranked company from the country, Tata Motors, is placed at 264th position.

Prithvi Info is ranked 378th, Polaris is at 401st, BHEL at 493rd, M&M at 544th, Kpit at 601st, Zylog at 620th, Dr Reddy's at 646th, Lupin at 698th, Infosys at 707th, RIL at 723rd and Core Projects is at 788th position in the global list.

The other six Indian firms are ranked out of the top-1000 positions on the list, which comprises of a total 1400 companies from across the world.

Bharat Electronics is at 1006th, Ashok Leyland at 1014th, Cipla at 1088th, Sun Pharma at 1270th, ONGC at 1290th and FCS Software is at 1373rd position.

As per European Commission, the latest 'R&D Investment Scoreboard' shows that EU companies as a whole are lagging behind major competitors from the US and some Asian economies on R&D growth. The latest 2011 list took into account the latest full-year R&D figures for the companies, which was calendar year 2010 for most and the financial year ending March 2011 for some of them.

The global R&D investment increased by 4 per cent last year, a robust up-turn after the 1.9 per cent drop observed in the previous year, the report said.

The global top-50 in terms of total R&D investment includes 15 EU companies, 18 US firms and 13 from Japan.

It said that the 1400 companies on the list employed more than 40 million people in 2010, a 3 per cent increase over 2009.

An analysis of the past eight years' trends shows that employment growth in R&D-intensive sectors is generally higher than in other sectors and less affected by the economic downturn, it noted.

(Agencies)