Corporate research was a big deal in the mid-20th century. In this piece, Ben Southwood inspects why we no longer have modern equivalents to research centers like Xerox PARC or Bell Labs.
An interesting point here on what might be demotivating large organizations to invest too much in deep research:
Another possible answer is that non-policy developments have steadily made spillovers happen faster and more easily. Technology means faster communication and much more access to information. An interconnected and richer world doing more research means more competitors. And while all of these are clearly good, they reduce the technology excludability of new ideas, even if legal excludability hasn’t changed, and so may have reduced the returns to innovation by individual businesses.