LONDON — Over 60 percent of the 2006 foreign direct investments in the Czech Republic announced by U.S.-based companies are R&D projects in innovation industries, according to data collected by CzechInvest, an agency of the Ministry of Industry & Trade of the Czech Republic.
Out of 16 U.S. companies announcing new investments or major expansions in the Czech Republic 12 are R&D and high value-added services projects. New projects include the following: Sun Microsystems Inc. opened a development and technology center; Microsoft Corp. opened a center for mobile applications; Solectron Corp. has announced it is establishing a repair center in the Czech Republic; Ingersoll-Rand announced the company is opening a research and training center.
International companies have opened more than 40 development, technology and distribution centers in the Czech Republic in the past two years, CzechInvest said.
CzechInvest said that its Silicon Valley-based office is experiencing an increase in the number of companies considering offshoring R&D. Out of nearly two dozen projects and inquiries under negotiation, the majority is showing an interest in the country's engineering R&D talent. Approximately 30 percent of the new projects and inquiries have originated from small enterprises based in Silicon Valley seeking affordable design services.
"In our Chicago-based office, we see a similar trend in increased interest for R&D in the automotive and aerospace industries. Overall, companies are looking for world-class talent, solid infrastructure and the ability to reach key European markets," said Bohuslav Frelich, director, CzechInvest-Chicago.
A 2005 Ernst & Young European Attractiveness Survey reports that 52 percent of international business executives plan to send their investment dollars to "new Europe" over the next three years, CzechInvest said.