Collaboration with universities was particularly prevalent as a factor for expanding to emerging countries, even though these countries provide lesser degrees of IP protection. Clearly while the trend toward R&D offshoring to Asia will continue despite concerns over IP protection, not to be overlooked is the fact that companies are keeping their most cutting-edge research in developed countries where IP protection is the strongest. Only 22 percent of the R&D effort in emerging countries is for new science. As Steve Lohr sees it, the globalization of work tends to start from the bottom up. The first jobs to be moved abroad are typically simple assembly tasks, followed by manufacturing, and, later, skilled work like computer programming.
At the end of this progression is the work by scientists and engineers in research and development laboratories. The globalization of research investment, industry executives and academics contend, need not harm the United States. In research, as in economics, they said, growth abroad does not mean stagnation at home - and typically the benefits outweigh the costs. It is universally more or less good that research and innovation are now fast becoming a truly global phenomenon.