Edited by Bernhard Dachs, Robert Stehrer and Georg Zahradnik
Chapter 3: Issues in Collecting Data on the Internationalisation of R & D
Data on R & D expenditure of foreign-owned firms collected from national statistical offices, EUROSTAT and the OECD is the basis of the analysis of this book. This chapter summarises the experiences from the data collection. After presenting some basic definitions of R & D and innovation in the context of internationalisation of R & D, we provide a summary of the available data and discuss existing data gaps and important pitfalls that have to be taken into account when analysing data on foreign-owned R & D. For the analysis of the internationalisation of business R & D a first important step is to clearly define business R & D and distinguish R & D from other types of innovation activity. The OECD Frascati Manual defines R & D as ëcreative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of man, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applicationsí (OECD 2002, p. 30). Compared to innovation, the term R & D rather refers to scientific discovery and knowledge creation than to the economic application of new knowledge. In practice, however, many firms may find it difficult to distinguish between innovation and R & D activities. Both terms are overlapping: R & D financed and performed by enterprises is always an innovation activity; in fact, R & D expenditure accounts for around half of innovation expenditure. The share is higher in countries with high average R & D intensity, such as Finland, Austria, France or Sweden, where R & D expenditure accounts for more than 60 percent of total innovation expenditure.
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