As global value chains decouple, is global R&D affected?

New publication by Max von Zedtwitz and co-authors in International Business Review



Has global R&D stagnated? After reaching new markets with the expansion of R&D in China and India in the 2010s, no new global attractor of R&D FDI is emerging. Worse even, global value chain decoupling in the wake of rising East-West tensions and techno-nationalism suggests that the best days of global R&D are over. In this paper, we take a look at the evidence and weigh drivers for continued internationalization versus more wide-spread slow-down. While total R&D by foreign-owned affiliates is still increasing, its share of total business R&D has been declining for at least ten years. However, a new scientific landscape, more powerful digital technologies, and the need for global solutions to address the grand challenges formulated in the UN’s SDGs will fuel global R&D, despite populist calls for backshoring of R&D. Overall, politics will take a more central role in the internationalization of R&D. LINK

The page was last edited by: Department of International Economics, Government and Business // 11/27/2023