A Battelle Perspective On Investing In International R & D
Rich Adams, VP
Battelle now has operations in five countries outside the United States: India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom. We are currently operating new laboratories in several of those countries. Battelle-Korea Laboratories is focused on establishing a bio-nanoscience center of excellence to serve the electronics industry, and International Scientific Standard (also in Korea) conducts bioequivalency testing services for the pharmaceutical industry. Battelle Science and Technology India is developing advanced materials capabilities to support U.S. operations and beyond. And the UK National Nuclear Laboratory is focused on nextgeneration nuclear technologies.
Intergovernmental agreements, such as the anticipated treaties from the Copenhagen climate change discussions, as well as governmental policies coming from the EU and individual countries mandating ambitious targets for carbon-neutral fuels and energy, are providing clear drivers for global R&D.
Looking forward, we continue to expect growth in the following areas: energy, especially research into how to achieve a stable and sustainable supply; health and life sciences, to meet increased global demand for pharmaceuticals and vaccines; advanced materials; and chemicals, especially “green” chemicals.
While the U.S. continues to lead the world in R&D funding, many countries, especially developing nations in Asia, are discovering the value of intellectual property potential and innovation. Even though economic conditions forced a slight dip in R&D investment in 2009, these countries are substantially increasing their R&D funding (through direct grants and indirect incentives), which we expect to continue in the long term.