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Rethinking Innovation Spending: What the Data on Intangible Investment Reveals

December 2017 | Research Report

The knowledge economy has changed how businesses invest. Spending on “intangibles” such as digitization and customer experience receive a bigger share of the investment pie than tangible “brick and mortar” investments. When businesses calculate their innovation investments as R&D only, they may be missing up to four-fifths of their innovation spend. This report outlines where to look for “missing” spending and how to make a more holistic assessment of overall innovation spending.



Carol Corrado

Senior Advisor and Research Director, Economics Program
The Conference Board

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Xiaohui (Janet) Hao, PhD

Senior Economist
The Conference Board


Ataman Ozyildirim, PhD

Director, Economic Research, and Global Research Chair
The Conference Board

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