‘Innovative Spanish Multinationals in the United States and Germany: The Long-Term Keys to Their Competitiveness’

Grants for research teams

Socioeconomics

2014

The goal of this project is to explore, from a long-term interdisciplinary perspective, the analytical keys to why more and more Spanish multinational firms are managing to negotiate a dual reality about which little has been written despite its importance: the consolidation of their presence in extremely challenging markets with high entry barriers in sectors with a large component of technological innovation; and their notable contribution to the so far largely neglected process of renewal, and the start of a new innovation cycle in certain niches within these markets.

DIRECTOR

Paloma Fernández Pérez, tenured professor in the Department of Economic History, Institutions at the University of Barcelona

 

RESEARCH TEAM

Mauro F. Guillén, University of Pennsylvania; Esteban García Canal, University of Oviedo; and Nuria Puig, Universidad Complutense de Madrid.

COLLABORATING INSTITUTIONS

University of Barcelona

 

DESCRIPTION

At the end of 2013, Spain had 48 billion euros invested in the United States, with over 700 companies established there providing direct investment over several decades while maintaining 78,000 American jobs.

The Spanish firms spearheading this direct investment are world leaders in key sectors at the forefront of productive innovation, specializing in high-technology components for renewable energies, infrastructures, biotechnology, environmental technology and water treatment.

In a majority of these sectors, Spanish firms are not only helping to create wealth and employment in the United States, they are also contributing to the renewal of industries where U.S. companies were pioneers and world leaders from the mid-20th century to the end of the 1980s, but since the 1990s have, in many cases, entered the mature or decline phase of their product and organizational cycles. Nothing has been published on this subject in the by now extensive range of books and reports devoted to Spanish multinationals.

 The goal of this project is to explore, from a long-term interdisciplinary perspective, the analytical keys to why more and more Spanish multinational firms are managing to negotiate a dual reality about which little has been written despite its importance: the consolidation of their presence in extremely challenging markets with high entry barriers in sectors with a large component of technological innovation; and their notable contribution to the so far largely neglected process of renewal, and the start of a new innovation cycle in certain niches within these markets.