The internationalisation of German companies' R&D

John Cantwell, Rebecca Harding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Research and development in the German economy is internationalising: recently there has been an increase in outward DFI by German companies relative to the inward DFI of foreign-owned companies in Germany. By examining the long term trends in patents granted in the USA to the world's largest firms between 1969 and 1995, it emerges that Germany is now catching-up with a world-wide trend to internationalise technological activity, and has done this on the basis of its core technological strengths developed historically at a national and corporate level. The research and innovation infrastructure of the economy remains strong, and German companies are locating abroad in the industries which are the most science-based, which are supportive of domestically-based core technologies and in which they hold the strongest competitive position relative to other European firms. German-owned companies retain their dominance of German-located R & D in five key industries-electronics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, metals and motor vehicles-and they have developed technological specialisms clearly focused on the core technologies of these industries, at home and now also abroad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-115
Number of pages17
JournalNational Institute Economic Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)

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