There is a growing international dispersion of R&D activities by MNEs
for the purposes of maintaining and augmenting their knowledge assets.
Firms need to tap into alternative knowledge sources , as home countries
are rarely able to meet all their technological needs. However,
accessing to foreign knowledge implies integration with the host country
innovation system that requires considerable time and resources.
Although asset-augmenting activities are seen as primarily benefitting
the MNE, we argue that home country innovation systems can also benefit
from reverse knowledge transfer. Policy makers need to promote these
linkages and flows, rather than seeing R&D internationalisation as a
threat to the home economy. New knowledge developed abroad by firms can
and should be encouraged to be transferred to the rest of the firm and
to the local environment of the home country.
Keywords: reverse knowledge transfer, R&D, innovation policy, EU
JEL codes F23, O32, L22
UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872