Community Forum – Have you Centralized R&D?

Resource Type
Survey (Community Forum)
Publish Date
Innovation Research Interchange
Managing Innovation and R+D, Organization and Future of Work
Associated Event

A: Have you Centralized R&D?

Our organization is weighing the pros and cons of centralizing our research teams. Currently, our staff are co-located within our manufacturing sites which are spread throughout the Americas. While this system has its benefits, management is exploring whether to centralize the team in one location.

The results from this week’s survey are below.

Community Responses


  • all points of the above
  • All of the above
  • All of the above
  • All could be true benefits or issues
  • speed
  • I feel that all of the above options are benefits for having an R&D center closely connected to a manufacturing plant.
  • All of the above.


  • all points of the above
  • All of the above
  • All of the above plus the reality that R&D quickly becomes process engineering as well
  • Both getting pulled into every quality or plant issue as well as restricting collaboration across teams
  • All of the above.


  • connecting dots across combinatorial project efforts
  • collective knowledge, careers
  • Good for longer term development which requires continuous focus and build-up of capabilities in one place
  • The R&D teams can focus more time on future developments. They are more focused on the future vs the present.
  • Both 1 and 2 apply, in my view. 2 > 1
  • Collaboration on common new and emerging trends with minimal duplication

4. If you centralized your operations, how did you entice current employees to stay with the company, and move to the new lab?

  • We had a hybrid system where some employees were located at plants while the majority were centralized. Those that were didn’t have to relocate. Eventually, as turnover naturally occurred, resources became more centralized with critical plants maintaining focused development and optimization activities as opposed to fundamental research.
  • Offered relocation and remote options for individuals where possible, with relocation of all equipment and labs
  • job change offer when possible
  • An innovation center – where creative minds gathered, where all the equipment is available including laboratories and pilot scale equipment
  • always have been centralized
  • Always been centralized.
  • pay upgrade to meet new COL for area, and housing/moving incentives.
  • I would take one strong location and build by expansion, attracting internal/external talent by exciting new technology development.
  • Our organization has been centralized for many years. When we recruit new employees, a benefit of being centralized is that we can talk about what makes the R&D organization unique and how it provides value to the greater organization and the businesses that are supported. A centralized R&D center has its own identity that can be promoted to members both within the company and outside of the company.
  • Growth opportunities as career advancement at R&D satellites is limited.
  • Hard and unlikely to be successful (based upon previous experience … tried and failed twice.
  • Nationally competitive level salaries despite being based in lower cost area, investment in the community to ensure broader array of services locally and broader array of development opportunities due to the full spectrum of jobs being available without moving again.
  • we are centralized globally, but still have R&D in regions. When centralizing, many associates were already in that location, others had to move to stay with company or find a role in the region. as far as enticement was concerned, if you wanted to stay with company you needed to relocate.
  • we have always had central R&D operations … we have 3 business units each through M&A and each has its own central R&D location distributed across the US and EU

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