Editorial

Putting a Value on R&D

By Tom Branna, Editorial Director | August 2, 2013

The US economy took a big leap forward on July 31. No, Detroit didn’t start turning out more cars (in fact, the city is broke). And no, Silicon Valley hasn’t released another superchip on the market (how many devices do we really need anyway?). Instead, the US economy grew thanks to a little bookkeeping that finally puts a value on research and development. On July 31, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) rewrote US economic output by restating the size and composition of gross domestic product all the way back to 1929, the first year it was recorded.

As a result of this move by the BEA, R&D is no longer treated as an expense—like corporate fuel consumption or sales reps’ bar bills. Instead it is now categorized as an investment; as much of an investment as that shiny new plant in Mumbai or Guangdong.
You may ask, “So what?”

Sure, it’s only on paper, but it’s still a pretty big deal as analysts expect measured GDP received a one-time boost of 2.7%. Taking a look backward, measured economic growth from 1959 to 2007 will rise from 3.32% to 3.39%. Experts expect future growth will be fractionally higher too. What’s more, if all forms of intangible investments (including R&D, brand building and total quality management) were officially recorded, they would top physical investments in buildings, machinery and other easier-to-measure units, according to experts.

It just goes to show you that a company’s biggest asset is its people—particularly its people in the lab. To find out if these gals and guys are being compensated fairly for their efforts, read the results of our annual R&D Salary Survey, which is available on Happi.com.

This month, we take a look at the biggest companies in the industry with headquarters outside the US. See The International Top 30 on the site. Also, read an update on color cosmetics collections for Fall 2013 and learn more about the latest trends in fine fragrance packaging.



Tom Branna
Editorial Director
tbranna@rodmanmedia.com
  • It’s The Great Pumpkin Season…Already

    It’s The Great Pumpkin Season…Already

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||August 30, 2016
    Everyone loves pumpkin, but are we out of our gourd pushing summer out of the way so soon?

  • One Gel, 17 Extracts

    One Gel, 17 Extracts

    August 29, 2016
    White Sands rolls out naturally-fueled formulation.

  • Fear Unfounded

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||August 15, 2016
    DEET or Zika? The choice seems obvious

  • Ingestible Beauty

    Ingestible Beauty

    Walter Faulstroh, founder of HUM Nutrition||November 21, 2016
    A trend that’s quickly becoming the norm.

  • Facial Skin Care: Rising or Falling?

    Facial Skin Care: Rising or Falling?

    Rebecca Kazin, MD, FAAD, associate director at the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery||November 7, 2016
    Dr. Kazin suggests new ways marketers can breathe life into this segment.

  • Keeping a Safe, Effective Product on Store Shelves

    Keeping a Safe, Effective Product on Store Shelves

    Richard Sedlak and Paul DeLeo, American Cleaning Institute||October 24, 2016
    ACI unveils plan for antibacterial ingredients