Generally speaking, investment by companies in research and development will be flat in 2009, according to the latest R&D trends forecast from the Industrial Research Institute (IRI). Indeed, 44% of respondents to the forecast survey say 2009 expenditures in R&D will increase by no more than 2.5% over the previous year, while 7% expect a drop of greater than 5%. Many of those companies will continue to shift their focus to new business versus existing business or basic research, and the trend toward collaborating with outside partners continues.
The survey, which took place in July and August 2008, drew responses from just under half of the 182 IRI member companies that conduct R&D in the United States. Because the responses were gathered before the economy dramatically worsened, the IRI revisited some of the respondents to determine whether the worsening economy would impact their responses. In general, the answer was no.
With that, findings from the survey show:
18 percentage of respondents who will increase their R&D expenditures by 5% or greater
23 percentage of respondents who will reduce or keep their capital spending for R&D operations at 2008 levels
60 percentage of respondents who will increase their participation in alliances and joint R&D ventures
32 percentage who will increase by 5% or more their distribution of R&D costs to new business projects