A study of economic development in Turkey found there is a positive impact between R&D expenditures and R&D workers and economic growth (Bayarcelik & Tasel, 2012). As R&D departments, expenditures and other indicators of innovation such as patents rose so did the GDP.
Why is this important?
Industries that don't stay on top of the market eventually fail. At first it may not look like failure, but as time goes on they lose more resource, have less investments, and need to cost cut. Eventually, there are lay offs. With enough businesses not competing there may be economic decline in the area.
Economic decline is partly a choice. It is how we handle the market, how we build our schools, the values we hold, and the investments we attract. While the factors are numerous economic decline is based on the amount of profit driven transactions as reflective of choice. It is hard to encourage choice when other options are better.
Bayarcelic, E. & Tasel, F. (2012). Research and development: source of economic growth. Procedia-Social and Behavior Sciences, 58.