Intangibles and International Sourcing (acronym: InSource) studies the nexus between intangibles, such as R&D and trademarks, and global value chains, the geographic dispersion in the provision of goods and services. Questions address in the project: Where are multinational enterprises’ intangibles-related business functions located? Do their locations influence the overall composition of their global value chains? Do these two choices have implications on the country in which value added is created and captured?
Finland has had a relatively self-contained national innovation system and a strong orientation towards exports of goods. International sourcing of innovative activity as well as increasing service-orientation of manufacturing thus pose a challenge to Finland. Addressing the challenge via appropriate policy measures calls for the kind of new information the project provides. These issues addressed by the project are of vital importance for the future welfare of Finland and, with the ongoing trends in the renewal of manufacturing, they are likely to become more so in the future.
Previously intangibles and international sourcing have not been considered in tandem. The project establishes new links between under-utilized data sets in Finland and in Sweden. The project uses econometric and statistical methods to uncover new information.
The work is split between Finland and Sweden. Etla’s partner in Sweden is CESIS at KTH Royal Institute of Technology. The project has a sounding board involving policy experts in Finland (Tekes, Ministry of Employment and the Economy, Prime Minister’s Office) and Sweden (VINNOVA, Kommerskollegium, Tillväxtanalys).