The ERA of International R&D Investments. An analysis of the competition for knowledge-intensive foreign investment across cities, countries and continents

Dániel Vértesy, European Commission

The internationalization of highly knowledge-intensive activities of multinational enterprises (MNEs) has triggered competition at multiple, interrelated geographical levels. Not merely countries, but urban areas within countries, and regional integration blocs compete to attract activities such as research, development, design or testing. This study assesses the role of local, national and supranational factors influencing MNEs’ decisions about where to locate knowledge-intensive foreign direct investments. In order to better understand the complex nature of competition, we compiled socio-economic information for 277 comparable urban areas – cities and their agglomeration, with a population of at least half a million – located in 28 countries across the world. Estimating nested logit models with different nesting structures, we show that supranational integration blocs’ borders do matter when firms decide the location of their knowledge-intensive activities. Both supranational and national borders play an important role in Europe, while national borders seem more relevant in North America. The findings support the role of EU policy instruments, such as the European Research Area (ERA), aimed at creating an integrated research and innovation area in Europe.


About the speaker
Dániel Vértesy, Ph.D., is a research fellow at the Competence Centre on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards (COIN) at the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission in Ispra, Italy. He is currently conducting and coordinating applied statistical and econometric research projects focusing on the measurement of scientific and technological research and innovation performance at various levels, primarily in support of EU research and innovation policies. Prior to joining the European Commission, he worked at the United Nations University (UNU-MERIT) on innovation dynamics in latecomer aerospace industries. He is a graduate of the Innovation Studies and Development Ph.D. Programme at Maastricht University & UNU-MERIT, and of International Relations at the Corvinus University of Budapest. His research interests and publications cover: the dynamics of innovation, economic and social development taking a long-term perspective; the evolution of innovation systems, with special interest in the aerospace industry in emerging economies; science and technology policy, indicator development and sensitivity analyses; higher education systems; and science & technology in international relations.

Venue: Conference room (0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 13 December 2018

Time: 12:00 - 13:00


UNU-MERIT