Globalization at the Research and Development - Context elements

Globalization challenges strategies of main firms who must from now on conceive their development on a global scale: launch of new products, services or brands, conquest of markets, access to funds, skills and competences often require an international scope.
Innovation, a critical factor of industrial dynamism, is linked to Research and Development (R&D), a function of the firm that is impacted by globalization. Growth of international R&D investments and the diversity of their localizations provide testimony to the importance of this trend. In 1993, the R&D expenditure of companies through their foreign subsidiaries accounted for 10% of companies whole R&D expenditure, while this percentage reached 16% in 2002 (cf the 2005 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Report (UNCTAD)).
Mergers and Acquisitions (M&A) played an important role in this process, involving at first countries on both sides of the Atlantic. Many American companies established R&D centres in Europe while at the same time, European multinationals got access to American research through acquisition of small high-tech companies. Pharmacy and biotechnologies provided a clear illustration of this phenomenon. Newly industrialized countries are now also following a similar process. Western multinationals have located research centres in Asia not only in China but as well in India where, for example, the city of Bangalore has acquired a strong visibility on the strategic radar of R&D managers. Meanwhile large Asian industrial actors have also established research centres in Europe and in the USA, often through acquisitions of large firms.

The Corporate Board Invention website: a new tool

The Corporate Invention Board’s website is a new tool which aims at characterizing the nature and the extent of technological globalisation. It gives the possibility to track and analyze the transformation of global patents portfolio of industrial groups overtime. It also identifies the geographic origin of patents’ protected inventions.
The Corporate Invention Board’s website complements the “Industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard” (produced by Institute for Prospective Technological Studies). The industrial R&D Investment Scoreboard, an annual study of the European Commission, analyzes the performances of the 2000 industrial companies (1000 based within the European Union, 1000 outside) with the most important annual R&D investments. These 2000 companies accounted for more than 430 billion euros of investment in 2008. Through patents’ statistics, the Corporate Invention Board focuses on the outputs of these R&D investments. Thus, the Corporate Invention Board provides information on technologies and on localisation of these investments.
The Corporate Invention Board’s website is built on an original database which combines information extracted from the “Patstat” patent database and from the “Orbis” financial database (details available on the Methodology pages and Data sources).
The Corporate Rankings page offers world rankings of inventions according to industries, technologies and geographical criteria.
The Visualisation page, based on “TreeMap” diagrams, offers a tool to search through different criteria with a user friendly display of results. This allows users, should they be in the industrial, political or academic worlds, to match their respective interests with various search criteria they can select and mix. Several entries can be used to explore the Corporate Invention Board: company name, industry, technological field, geographical location and time frame. R&D managers can visualize the performances of their own group as well as those of their competitors. Public policymaker can analyze the profile and appeal of territories they are in charge of.
The Corporate Invention Board project is developed within the framework of the IFRIS research consortium (Institut Francilien Recherche, Innovation, Société) by research professors at ESIEE Management, with the participation of master students from the “scientific, technical and economic Intelligence” and the “Engineering of the numerical media” programs. It has also benefited from the support of HEC and the IPTS.