Centre for Innovation, Research and Competence in the Learning Economy |Lund University

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Globalization of innovation

Research in the Globalization of Innovation platform focuses on the global dimension of innovation processes, including global research collaboration, global sourcing of knowledge and offshoring of R&D and innovation, as well as their impact in terms of innovation, wellbeing and growth. The aim of this research area is to understand how firms organize jointly their innovation and internationalization activities and how global activities influence the local features of innovation dynamics.

Of particular interest in this platform is the role of multinational firms (global firms) in the creation of international linkages and global value chains and their impact on the local innovation milieu. Additionally the platform also aims to shed light on the international diffusion of knowledge that is made possible by the international mobility of skilled individuals.

Interesting research questions involve the mobility of skilled personnel from multinational companies to new firms (startup) and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and its impact on their economic performances, as well as the motives and impact of the acquisition of small technological start-ups by large multinationals. Other topics of interest involve the role of multinational companies as attractors of foreign talents from abroad, through international hiring and recruitment. Theoretically, research in this platform draws on international business, economic geography and innovation studies among others. The portfolio of projects in this research platform running in 2019 are described next:

Sweden’s Position in Global Value Chains funded by Vinnova. The objective of this project is to establish a strategic knowledge platform with the purpose of assembling and expanding knowledge about the role of global companies in the Swedish innovation system. The knowledge platform will also serve to understand better the integration of the Swedish innovation system itself into global research and innovation networks, as well as global value chains. The research activities of this project have two main aims: the first is to provide an accurate picture of the presence of multinational companies in Sweden, while the second aim is to analyze the specific channels through which multinationals with significant innovation-related activities in Sweden can contribute to the development of the innovative capacity of their host economic system.

Leaving the Multinational: what is the impact of the mobility of human capital from multinational enterprises to entrepreneurship and small and medium businesses in Sweden? funded by the Lundbergsstiftelserna. The aim of this project is to analyze the influence that mobility of skilled employees from large and knowledge-intensive multinational firms (MNFs) has on the growth and development of new businesses and small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) in Sweden. The main idea is that large and knowledge-intensive MNFs function as “incubators”, where workers develop advanced knowledge, experiences and skills associated with large-scale modern knowledge-intensive businesses. The mobility of skilled and experienced employees from MNFs to startups and established SMEs implies transfers of human capital that help these companies to upgrade their capabilities and develop their businesses.

Young talents from abroad. The impact of foreign graduates on the international operations of Swedish firms, funded by the Jan Wallanders och Tom Hedelius Stiftelse. The aim of the project is to investigate whether Swedish companies are able to improve their international trade activities through the hiring of foreign graduates from Swedish universities. Having access to talent is critical for companies willing to improve their competitiveness and their performances in the global markets. Foreign graduates who completed their education in Swedish universities represent a relevant opportunity for Swedish companies, since these individuals are highly skilled and possess distinctive knowledge of foreign cultures, and are locally available. The project provides evidence about which graduates continue their career in Swedish firms and whether they contribute to the innovative and international performances of the companies they end up working for.

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