Subsidiaries of foreign multinational enterprises (MNEs) are among the top performers of research and development (R&D) in many EU and non-EU countries. In 2013, MNE affiliates accounted for more than 20% of total business R&D in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Italy; between 30% and 50% in Canada, Spain, Poland, and Sweden; and  for more than 50% in the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Ireland.

The aim of this project "Internationalisation of business investments in R&D and analysis of their economic impact" is to analyze the size, distribution and impact of R&D expenditures of foreign-owned firms in the business sector of various countries. The study is commissioned by the European Commission, DG Research and Innovation.

The project started in January 2015 and will be finished in November 2016.





We measure R&D internationalisation with four indicators:

  • Inward BERD: Total business research and development expenditure (BERD) by foreign-owned affiliates in the reporting country
  • Outward BERD: Total business research and development expenditure (BERD) of domestically owned firms outside of the reporting country
  • Overall inward/outward R&D intensity: total inward/outward BERD divided by total BERD
  • Share top investor country: Share of the top investor country in total inward BERD


Outputs of the project


Country Report Austria [November 2015]

Final Report [April 2017]



Related Publications

Bernhard Dachs, Robert Stehrer, Georg Zahradnik:
The Internationalisation of Business R&D

It has become clear over the past few decades that enterprises not only produce and sell abroad but increasingly also develop goods and services outside their home countries; a development now known as the internationalisation of business R&D. This book presents a comprehensive picture of the current state of internationalisation of R&D in the business sector.
The contributors explore key patterns of the internationalisation of R&D across various countries and sectors using case studies to underpin empirical evidence. They examine the drivers of the process, revealing the impacts of R&D internationalisation on both home and host countries using both qualitative and quantitative analysis. Topics discussed include:

  • Why firms locate R&D activities abroad 
  • Data availability, quality and comparability
  • R&D internationalisation across countries and over Time
  • The role of the EU and the US in the internationalisation of R&D 
  • A sectoral perspective on R&D internationalisation
  • Country-level factors as determinants of R&D internationalisation 
  • Impacts of R&D internationalisation on home and host countries.

The Internationalisation of Business R&D: (New Perspectives on the Modern Corporation Series)  Bernhard Dachs, Robert Stehrer, Georg Zahradnik