Paul van Gerven
21 June

Dutch companies are less inclined to expand their R&D activities in emerging markets, a VNO-NCW survey among R&D directors of the country’s 25 largest R&D-intensive companies shows. To be closer to major growth markets, many Western companies have been expanding their research and development activities in BRIC countries for years, but now two-thirds say they no longer plan to do so. Almost half of the companies are moving or thinking about moving R&D back to Europe.


According to the employers’ federation VNO-NCW, the new trend is a result of changing geopolitical conditions. The surveyed group of companies is increasingly aware of the importance of knowledge security and protecting strategic knowledge and technology.

The R&D Barometer further shows that an overwhelming majority of respondents are increasingly focusing R&D more prominently on social issues that are important to the world in the long term, such as climate and recycling. One concern is the availability of technical talent at all levels of education. In this regard, a third of the companies indicate that the situation in the Netherlands is worse than in other countries.