According to a new study of a thousand companies, The Resilience Report, ‘NO’. The R&D investment vs. sales growth graph above shows no correlation whatsoever.
Perhaps this was true in the industrial world based on manufactured goods, but as we shift from services to experiences, innovation is no longer a ‘department’, but a more “robust business model and good cross-functional capabilities” throughout the company (eg Southwest), or city for that matter. Today’s vastly increasing customer sophistication and demands can’t tolerate any less. Thus, it’s not about money, as the graph clearly shows, but about people, as this graph tends to reveal… and since innovation tends to occur in clusters (ie Hollywood, Silicon Valley) – it’s imperative that cities support the establishment of innovation-oriented districts/neighborhoods.
Effective R&D spending is also reported to be more decentralized than ever to focus on unique local markets. This could mean cities that are investing in attractions just because other cities have them (ie stadiums, freeways, malls) may be heading in the wrong direction.