Globally, R&D is recognized as an important driver of economic and social progress. In 2013, the Dominican Republic invested only 0.3% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in R&D expenditure, which is a level of investment equivalent to half the Latin American average. The globalization process has allowed many corporations to internationalize their value chain including R&D activities, which represents an extraordinary opportunity for a developing country as the Dominican Republic to attract FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) as a way to increase innovation process related to R&D activities. This research project investigates whether R&D expenses have an effect on the profit, revenue, and productivity for companies of high-tech healthcare products in the Dominican Republic, and why some of these companies do not invest more in R&D inside the country. The research adopted a mixed methods approach by using quantitative research (survey and content analysis) and qualitative research (interviews). The results suggest that companies surveyed concentrate their main R&D programs outside the country due to lack in quality and the capacity through government or academic institutes to engage in complex R&D activities required by these firms. As a result, the companies surveyed only perform process innovation and product testing in their manufacturing facilities. Also, cooperation among (company-university-government) in the innovation system has become ineffective. In this sense, it is necessary a strong effort from all stakeholders involved in innovation policy to lift the quality and magnitude of R&D spending in the Dominican Republic, as a way to increase nation’s competitiveness and innovation.

Publication Date


Document Type

Master's Project

Student Type


Degree Name

Service Leadership and Innovation (MS)

Department, Program, or Center

Department of Service Systems (CAST)


Linda Underhill


This Capstone project is for a collaborative program between CAST (School of International Hospitality and Service Innovation, Department of Service Systems) and PUCMM (Pontífica Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra) in the Dominican Republic.


RIT – Main Campus