Private enterprises operate increasingly through and within global value chains (GVCs). This affects not only the spatial distribution of production activities. The research strategies of firms are changing too and research linkages are also globalizing, and this change is further reinforced as more and more firms adopt strategies of open innovation.
As a consequence, firms original locations and (national) research partners easily lose importance as the role of global networking partners grows. This has consequences now, and increasingly in the future we believe for national research and technological development (RTD) policies in Europe. The impacts of RTD measures are less easily detectable. The gains from RTD executed by or for enterprises are less transparent, more indirect. The benefits of direct (national) public financial RTD support may gravitate to other locations and markets than originally intended or desired. The key question for policy makers in Europe is whether and how RTD support policies can be designed and executed in relation to players in GVCs in order to get a sufficient and best possible return for the public money invested. GLOVAL will address this question by examining good policy practice and seeking to offer RTD policymakers practical tools for appraising public RTD investments in cases with a significant GVC dimension.