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The Global R&D Network: A Network Analysis of International R&D Centres

  • Authors: Giuditta De Prato and Daniel Nepelski
  • EUR Number: 25964 EN
  • Publication date: 5/2013


A firm's decision to establish an R&D centre in a specific location creates externalities affecting other firms and, thus, a random distribution of location choices is unlikely. Expecting that the global distribution of R&D centres fulfils the criteria of a complex network, we apply social network analysis to study the locations of international R&D centres and the relationships between the countries owning and hosting them. We analyse the characteristics of the global R&D network and identify its core members. Further, we include network indices in an empirical analysis of the R&D internationalisation determinants. We find that a country's position in the network, which does not necessarily coincide with its geographical or cultural proximity to other countries, has a significant impact on the formation and intensity of R&D linkages between countries. We provide policy implications addressing the challenges emerging from the increasing internationalisation and network of R&D. Keywords: globalisation of innovation, location of R&D centres, network analysis, gravity model JEL classification: D8, O32, L23

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