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Booz & Company Study Finds Top Corporate Spenders on R&D Boosted Investments to Nearly Half a Trillion Dollars in 2007
Date:10/21/2008

espectively from the 184 companies in the subset analysis, while spending far less on R&D abroad. Other top net recipients of foreign company R&D monies include Canada, Israel and the U.K.

Labor arbitrage is fading as a reason to move R&D offshore. The Booz & Company analysis found that lower engineering labor rates explain only a third of moves to site R&D facilities overseas, as labor costs soar in many low-cost countries. The study found there is still some money to be saved by arbitraging labor costs – those investing more than 10% in low-cost countries such as China and India did 25% better on three-year sales growth and up to 67% better on three-year market-cap growth. "Companies that look offshore are no longer just focused on lowering their labor costs. Increasingly, global companies need access to talented engineers and scientists around the world – and access to local market insight to better develop new products," said Barry Jaruzelski, Partner at Booz & Company. "They are designing a global R&D footprint that aligns growing markets, essential skills and cost savings. These factors are the building blocks of a performance payoff."

A dispersed global R&D network is less effective. Companies that operated a multi-geography network of fewer and larger R&D facilities performed 30% better on three-year operating income growth and total shareholder return, and 40 percent better on three-year market-cap growth. "A highly focused R&D footprint improves coordination among sites, and focuses a company's talent pool in its R&D hubs that benefit from scale," said Kevin Dehoff, Booz & Company Partner. In contrast, those with smaller, more dispersed site strategies "experience execution problems," he added. The study finds, in fact, that nearly half of companies that deployed R&D resources globally did not reap the benefit they anticipated. '/>"/>

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