, Volume 33, Issue 4, pp 364-378
Date: 29 Aug 2007

Location choices within global innovation networks: the case of Europe

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Abstract

Rapid growth in internationalization of corporate R&D has spurred considerable interest since the 1990s. Foreign R&D is still mainly driven by the expansion of international production, but technology sourcing has become an increasingly important driver of dispersion. Actually, differences across sectors and companies tend to obscure the mix of motivations behind the development of global innovation networks. This paper distinguishes the various drivers of the international dispersion of corporate R&D in order to elaborate a typology of foreign R&D units, including in emerging countries. This typology is used to discuss the emergence of differentiated global innovation networks and the location choices by type of R&D unit. It is applied to foreign R&D projects in Europe in high and low cost countries between 2002 and 2005. It is then used to discuss the weakening attractiveness of the European Union for R&D activities and the relevant policies that countries can design to attract different types of units.