Irrespective of the industry type and range, there has been a continuing trend among American corporate to invest less in science, according to a new study released recently.
There has also been a decline in the number of publications by companies engage d in a range of businesses and industries over time according to the research recently published in the Strategic Management Journal and which detailed data from 1980 to 2006.
“This decline has taken place even though scientific research continues to be relevant, because the patents filed by these firms continue to cite the scientific literature at the same rate as before. This implies that the societal value of research has not declined,” Ashish Arora, co-author of the research, said in a news release.
In order to assess and qualify how the large American corporate have withdrawn from making investments in science between 1980 and 2006, for the study the researchers made use of a combination of financial information available at the firm-level and a huge cache of and comprehensive data set and information related to publications by the firms as well as the number of patents and acquisitions conducted in the same period.
While the value has remained stable with respect to the technical knowhow – discernable from the patents acquired, there has been a steady fall in the value that is attached to scientific research, the research also found.
The study has also noted that simply by bringing in changes in practices in publishing, this declining trend was most probably caused. Additionally, science is still a useful tool to drive innovation and therefore technical knowhow.
There has also been a decrease in the levels of private benefits from internal research, the study also pointed out. The study points out further that large corporates still continue to accord value to the golden eggs of science – which is exhibited by the patents acquired, but they are increasingly getting averse for making investments in the golden goose itself which are the internal scientific capabilities of the companies.
The assumption that most of the large American corporations are getting averse to scientific research is gaining widespread belief among commentators.
According to the study, it is perceived that instead of focusing on the creation of new knowledge with the use of basic research work, American companies seem to be more focused on enhancing their present knowledge through acquiring of patents and then putting it to commercial use.
Next, researchers need to investigate “why the private value to corporations on engaging in research has declined.” “It also suggests that public support of research may be more valuable than ever,” said Arora.
(Adapted from News.xinhuanet.com)