Georgia Tech strategic management professors Jerry and Marie Thursby recently provided testimony to a U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee about their research concerning the globalization of research and development.
Although corporate R&D operations are increasingly moving to emerging countries like India and China, companies continue to keep the majority of their cutting-edge R&D in developed nations, according to a study conducted by the Thursbys for the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.
"It is striking that very little new science is conducted in emerging economies," said Jerry Thursby in his oral testimony at the hearing. "Thus, while companies are conducting R&D in economies despite weak intellectual property protection, their cutting-edge science tends not to be done in those locations."
That's because high-tech companies frequently seek collaborative relationships with research universities, according to the Thursbys. These companies find that universities in developed economies still offer the greatest collaborative strengths.
Witnesses at the hearing unanimously agreed that in order for the United States to maintain a competitive advantage in corporate R&D, the country must continue to develop its high-tech workforce and provide incentives to attract and grow entrepreneurial ventures.
The hearing featuring the Thurbys was the third in a series examining the impact of globalization on innovation and exploring the factors that determine how companies shoot sites for science, technology, and engineering facilities.