I had a conversation with Robert Ackerman, managing director of Allegis Capital, this morning and he zeroed in on a fundamental transformation of the American economy: the shift of R&D from big companies to small companies over the past several decades.
In 1981, 70.7% of industrial R&D took place at companies with 25,000 employees or more, Ackerman pointed out. That fell to 37.6% by 2005.
At the same time, companies with fewer than 5,000 employees accounted for 39.6% in 2005, up from 10.5% in the early 1980s.
It is a remarkable transition that changes the innovation calculus of the country.