Architecture, Resarch, Competitive Advantage, Strategy, R&D, AIA Business of Architecture Firm Survey Report, Tax Credits
Firms that invest in research may have a competitive edge.
Seventy-two percent of architecture firms engaged in some aspect of practicerelevant research in 2019, up from 66% in 2017. Firms of all sizes (44%) use literature reviews and save and revisit past projects as case studies for analysis and research (43%).
Large firms with more resources are able to invest in research more heavily than small firms. For example, 43% of large firms (50 or more employees) and 48% of midsized firms (10 to 49 employees) have an in-house database/ library for research, compared with only a fifth of small firms (fewer than 10 employees); and 33% of large firms use evidence-based design practices, compared to 17% of midsized firms and 6% of small firms.
R&D tax credits were also most often pursued and received by large firms in 2019: A quarter of firms with 10 to 49 employees applied for them (20% received them), and 29% of firms with 50 or more employees applied for them (26% received them). All small firms (3%) that applied for R&D tax credits received them in 2019.
Large firms were also able to dedicate annual budget for research projects or investigationsâ€”17% of firms with 50 or more employees report they currently have research budgets, compared to 2% of firms with fewer employees