SAN JOSE, Calif. The economic downturn won't spark a new round of globalization in R&D, according to an informal survey of 30 high tech R&D managers.
Nearly three quarters (73 percent) of the executives who participated in a poll of the R&D Globalization Council organized by consulting firm Zinnov said they do not plan to expand their global R&D efforts beyond their current international locations. Only 11 percent said they are continuing to grow R&D efforts abroad.
About a quarter of the R&D managers (27 percent) said they don't plan to slowdown the current rate of growth in their global R&D initiatives. For the few companies that are expanding global R&D, China and India are their preferred locations.
Zinnov (Santa Clara, Calif.) described the participants in the survey as executives who "oversee research and development work at a global level for some of the leading technology companies." The survey came from a council meeting held in early November, attended by as many as 50 R&D managers.
Asked how they are responding to the current economic downturn, 34 percent said they are reducing travel. The second most popular response (29 percent) was a hiring freeze.
Participants cited a lack of productivity as their top overall challenge (38 percent) in their international R&D efforts. It was followed by talent retention (31 percent) and rising costs (14 percent).
The recent U.S. election marked one bright spot for the R&D managers. Almost 90 percent of respondents said they were more optimistic about the prospects for positive change in the U.S. technology economy with the new administration.