Innovation surge in US metal industry: 2.5 times higher than average

New data reveals the US metal sector has invested a total of $4.3 billion on R&D, up from $3.6 billion the previous year: 2.5 times higher than the average across US sectors.

Companies in the US metal fabrication sector have increased their R&D investment by 26.4% compared to the previous year, according to the latest annual data. This growth is 2.5 times higher than the average across US sectors*.


As the industry looks to improve efficiency, cover skill gaps, and challenge market competition, companies in the sector invested a total of $4.3 billion on R&D, up from $3.6 billion the previous year. This is in the top 10 highest YoY increase out of all US sectors.

The analysis finds the recent surge is part of sustained investment in innovation from the sector — there's been a 91.7% rise in R&D investment over the last 5 years, and a 131.6% increase over the decade.

The research, collated by R&D tax credit specialists GOAT.tax, analyzes up to 10 years of R&D investment figures in the USA using the latest available data** to highlight the sectors which are investing in innovation to fuel growth.

Specialist tax experts highlight that companies innovating in the sector could be missing out on tax savings, and are encouraged to examine their own R&D spend beside R&D tax credit criteria. Data reveals the average successful claim from the sector was $55,387 in 2022.

Alex Pak, Director in the R&D Tax Credit Consulting at Source Advisors, says:

"Investment in R&D is no longer optional but a strategic necessity to stay ahead in the competitive landscape. We've seen through working with national and international firms in the metal fabrication sector the increased importance placed on being at the forefront of technology to improve existing services and identify new innovation routes"

"Examples of eligible R&D activities in the sector can include developing new components, a bespoke or alternative material processing method, or development of a new material. With specialist guidance, companies in the metal fabrication sector stand to realize substantial savings on their tax bills through R&D tax credits." 

Olivia Tian, Marketing Director at Raise3D, says:

"US manufacturing businesses are increasing R&D budgets to stay ahead in a rapidly evolving market. Innovation is vital across manufacturing for product development, process optimization, and staying competitive. By investing more in R&D, manufacturers can ensure sustained growth and market leadership

To be successful, R&D investment needs to be aligned to business goals and market demands. It's only with strategic planning, collaboration, and data-driven insights, manufacturers maximize ROI and secure long-term success.

Featured Product

Supply Chain Management by Elisa IndustrIQ

Supply Chain Management by Elisa IndustrIQ

Elisa IndustrIQ's Supply Chain Management (SCM) solution is designed to enhance productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness throughout the entire supply chain. This advanced solution focuses on improving flexibility and responsiveness in both planning and operation execution, crucial for adapting to rapidly evolving markets. Our solution facilitates business growth by offering end-to-end visibility, essential for efficiently managing and streamlining supply chains. Key features include AI-powered demand forecasting, automated quoting and purchasing, intelligent replanning capabilities, structured collaboration tools, and direct supplier integration. These features can be tailored to align with your business and financial objectives, adding a strategic dimension to sales and operations planning and execution. The solution is designed to meet the manufacturing industry's needs for speed, resilience, and efficiency, primarily through innovative approaches to reduce business friction.