Multinational companies perform majority of US business R&D

February 5, 2016
Multinational companies perform majority of US business R&D
In 2010, parent companies of U.S. multinationals performed $197 billion in the United States.

Multinational companies perform the majority of all research and development (R&D) done by companies located in the Unites States, according to a new report from the National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES).

In 2010, U.S.-located businesses performed $279 billion in R&D. Seventy-one percent of that, or $197 billion, was performed by the parents of U.S. multinational companies. Their share of federally funded R&D was even higher, at 75 percent of total $34.2 billion. These parent companies also employed 788,000, or 56 percent, of 1.4 million U.S. business R&D workers.

In 2010, parent companies of U.S. multinational companies performed $197 billion in the United States, or 71 percent, of the $279 billion in R&D by U.S.-located business. Their share of federally funded R&D was even higher, at 75 percent of a total $34.2 billion. These parent companies also employed 788,000, or 56 percent, of 1.4 million U.S. business R&D workers.

Separately, the NCSES report noted that U.S.-located affiliates that are majority-owned (greater than 50 percent) by foreign multinational companies performed 14 percent of total U.S. business R&D in 2010. Those affiliates employed 155,000 R&D workers in the U.S., and more than half of their R&D was performed in six states—California, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Texas.

The NCSES report also provides information about R&D work performed in other nations by majority-owned affiliates of U.S. multinational companies. These affiliates performed $38.9 billion in R&D outside the United States in 2010. Of that total, U.S.-owned affiliates located in Germany ($6.7 billion) and the United Kingdom ($5.5 billion) made up 31 percent. The other top six host country locations, with at least $1.5 billion in R&D performed by these U.S.-owned affiliates, were Canada, France, Japan, Israel, India and China, accounting together for another 30 percent.

The NCSES report and a related set of detailed statistical tables were produced by the R&D Data Link Project, a collaborative effort by NSF, the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau of Economic Analysis linking R&D and multinational company (foreign direct investment) surveys. Although each of the participating surveys have more recent data, 2010 is the latest linked set. The links reveal new details on multinational company R&D. For example, the detailed statistical tables have information on the character of R&D work—whether that work is basic, applied or experimental —by multinational companies and additional geographic detail, including the state where the work took place, the investing country and host country.

Explore further: Company R&D expenditures in US increased 6.7 percent in 2013

Related Stories

High corporate taxes incentivize corporate debt

January 27, 2016

Multinational American companies with significant operations in countries with low corporate taxes take on less debt than companies that face higher taxes, according to a new study from the University of Maryland's Robert ...

China state-owned firm to build $15 bn chip plant

November 6, 2015

A state-owned Chinese company said Friday it plans to pour nearly $15 billion into a giant memory chip factory, as Beijing seeks to create homegrown semiconductor champions to reduce reliance on foreign technology.

Recommended for you

New method analyzes corn kernel characteristics

November 17, 2017

An ear of corn averages about 800 kernels. A traditional field method to estimate the number of kernels on the ear is to manually count the number of rows and multiply by the number of kernels in one length of the ear. With ...

Optically tunable microwave antennas for 5G applications

November 16, 2017

Multiband tunable antennas are a critical part of many communication and radar systems. New research by engineers at the University of Bristol has shown significant advances in antennas by using optically induced plasmas ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.