EMERYVILLE, CA--(Marketwire - Dec 18, 2012) - The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Berkeley Research Group Director Anne Marie Knott a grant for her work examining the relationship between firms' innovation initiatives through research and development and the impact of that investment on economic performance.

The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics' (NCSES) Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences is managing the project, which received about $107,000 in funding from the NSF. Dr. Knott is the principal investigator.

Dr. Knott is a professor of strategy at the Olin Business School at Washington University, St. Louis. Her principal area of expertise is technology strategy. To facilitate that work, she developed a new metric for R&D productivity -- research quotient, or RQ -- that allows companies to estimate the effectiveness of their R&D investment relative to the competition; and to see how changes in their R&D expenditure affect the bottom line and, most important, their company's market value. The Harvard Business Review featured Dr. Knott's work in its May 2012 cover story, "The Trillion-Dollar R&D Fix," which includes an online tool through which firms can look up their RQ. Dr. Knott also co-authored an article on the topic in the Summer 2012 issue of the BRG Review.

The NCSES study looks at the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010, the goal of which was to invest in innovation through R&D and improve the competitiveness and innovative capacity of the United States. However, as Dr. Knott notes, increasing investment alone is unlikely to produce desired results: "We need to understand who should increase spending and how," she said.

At the policy level, the NCSES study provides theoretically motivated and empirically rigorous insights for directing investment in innovation for the America COMPETES Act. For practitioners, the study offers firms prescriptions for increasing their R&D effectiveness and thus has the potential to increase aggregate R&D productivity in the United States. Finally, for academics, the study will answer longstanding questions in the economics of innovation literature to support future theory development on the optimal conditions for innovation.

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