About RQTM

amkANALYTICS provides tools to drive value from R&D using RQTM (short for Research Quotient). RQ is derived from the production function from classic economics which defines the relationship between firm inputs and their output. The version seen in textbooks typically considers the two main tangible inputs: capital and labor, and is written as follows:

Y = KαLβ

Where Y is output, K is capital and L is labor. The exponents, α and β, called the output elasticity of capital and labor, respectively, tell us in a very precise way how productive each input is in generating output. A 1% increase in capital increases a firm’s output α%; a 1% increase in labor increases a firm’s output β%.

RQ is obtained by expanding the production function to include the two important intangible assets: R&D and advertising.

Y = KαLβRγAδ

The raw measure for RQ, γ, is the output elasticity of R&D-the percentage increase in revenue the firm gets by increasing its R&D 1%.   Thus RQ is simply doing with R&D what everyone has been doing for years with capital and labor.

To support intuition, we rescale γ to match the human IQ scale. An RQ of 100 is the average across all US public firms engaged in R&D in the base year. The majority of firms (67%) have RQ's which fall between 85 and 115.

Because RQ is based on fundamental economics, it allows us to predict the expected revenues and profits from an increase in R&D.  Better still, RQ matches the R&D productivity construct from endogenous growth theory, for which Paul Romer just won the Nobel Prize in Economics. Accordingly, RQ also links R&D spending to firm growth.  For more details of its estimation, see the SSRN white paper “A New Measure of Innovation”.

Most important of all, these predictions have been validated with 47 years of data as part of two National Science Foundation (NSF) studies.  No other measure of R&D productivity matches these predictions.

Beyond being validated by the academic and scientific communities, RQ is rapidly gaining widespread attention in the business community.

Learn More about RQ

How Innovation Really Works

Published by McGraw Hill - Professor Knott's book, describes how to use RQ to determine which R&D investments are most likely to drive growth and debunks innovation trends that don’t work.


CNBC RQ All-Stars

The CNBC RQ 50 is a unique list of publicly traded companies that derive the greatest shareholder value from their research and development spending.


American Management Association

Dr. Anne Marie Knott discusses the applications and implications of RQ for the AMA Edgewise podcast.


amkANALYTICS, LLC has a mission to grow the world economy through widespread adoption of RQ metrics and R&D best practices.  Professor Knott’s analysis suggests that economic stagnation over the past 40 years stems in part from a 65% decline in companies' RQs.  Our hope is that through the R&D manager tools, firms can restore their prior RQs, and advanced economies can begin to enjoy the growth rates from the mid 20th century. 

About the Team

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Anne Marie Knott, Founder and Chief Scientist

Dr. Anne Marie Knott is Professor of Strategy at the Olin School of Business, Washington University, where her principle area of expertise is innovation, both through entrepreneurship and large scale R&D. She has published books and numerous articles on innovation and entrepreneurship, and has received two National Science Foundation grants for her RQ work.

Professor Knott pioneered the RQ measure as part of a twenty-year academic career (the first half as an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at Wharton, the second half as Professor of Strategy at Washington University in St. Louis) doing research and consulting on innovation.  But RQ is not merely an academic exercise for her.  She experienced declining innovativeness first hand during a prior career managing missile guidance projects at Hughes Aircraft Company.  “I could see within Hughes that government policies and the company’s responses were forcing decisions that would permanently degrade R&D capability.   Moreover, I suspected this was true not only for Hughes, but for all firms in the Defense sector, and possibly other sectors as well.   The challenge at the time was I couldn’t convey the need for alarm, because there was no good measure of R&D capability”.

She became an academic (earning her PhD at UCLA, while continuing to work at Hughes) in part to solve that problem.  Ultimately, she discovered RQ as a byproduct of answering a more fundamental question in the management of innovation.  However, “once I had the measure, I knew it was the holy grail I’d been seeking”.  The first thing she did with RQ was characterize the R&D productivity of all publicly traded US firms going back as far as data would allow (1972).

She learned her concerns while at Hughes were valid—not only for Hughes, but for the entire US economy (R&D productivity had declined 65%).  Of course the next step was trying to identify how to reverse that trend.  Fortunately, she was awarded two National Science Foundation (NSF) grants that allowed her to link RQ to R&D practices across the entire spectrum of US firms.

For more information on Dr. Knott please consult her website at Washington University

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Dirk Brown, CEO

Dr. Dirk Brown is a seasoned executive and general manager with a strong track record of developing, marketing and licensing disruptive, proprietary technologies. He led the commercialization of cutting edge computer vision and machine learning technologies as the CEO of Pandoodle Corporation, a digital media technology company with offices in California, New York and South Carolina. Previously, Dr. Brown was the CEO of Neoconix, a venture capital-funded electronics technology company with worldwide sales and manufacturing operations serving a range of Fortune 100 customers. Earlier in his career, Dr. Brown was executive vice president of operations and marketing at High Connection Density, with P&L responsibility for all of the company's product lines, and before that a member of technical staff at Advanced Micro Devices.

In addition to growing technology companies. Dr. Brown has served in academic roles as the Faculty Director of the McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise at the University of South Carolina, as Director of the Faber Entrepreneurship Center, and as Management Faculty at the Darla Moore School of Business. He is an active member in a number of professional societies, holds over 25 patents, and has written over 30 technical papers and journal articles. Dr. Brown has also authored and co-authored a number of book chapters and books, including a popular manual for intellectual property strategy and management entitled "Inventions = Money".

Dr. Brown holds an MBA from San Jose State, a Ph.D. (Materials Science) and M.Eng. (Applied Physics) from Cornell University and a B.Sc. in Engineering Physics/Electrical Engineering from Queen's University in Canada.

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Christian Graves, Business Development

Dr. Christian Graves is a technology executive and biotechnology R&D manager with a strong track record of researching, developing, and strategically selling disruptive technologies. He founded and built a cutting edge machine learning and internet of things technology startup serving as the CEO of lmbk, an enterprise SaaS technology company with offices in Detroit MI and Atlanta GA headquartered in Greenville SC. He has consulted with Fortune 500 biotechnology companies as well as served as a strategic management consultant to various new technology ventures.  As an executive, he actively serves on multiple boards with several innovation organizations to promote the commercialization of digital health and artificial intelligence technologies. Previously, Dr. Graves  cofounded and was CEO of Devour Immunolabs, a big data drug discovery biotechnology platform focused on cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.  He is a fellow of the prestigious National Institutes of Health where he investigated and provided clinical trial management, CRADA, and MTA development to various IND and 510k medical device technologies in cancer and neurosurgical indications. 

In addition to founding and advising several technology companies, Dr. Graves has served in academic roles managing large clinical R&D programs and international collaborations at USC School of Medicine while pursuing his Ph.D/M.D., the Veterans Administration Medical Centers, and at the National Institutes of Health. He has authored over 15 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, speaks at international conferences, and is active in multiple professional societies.

Dr. Graves holds a Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences/Neuroscience) from USC School of Medicine, microMBA studies at the Darla Moore School of Business, and a B.S. in Biology/Chemistry from Winthrop University.

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Marilyn Gannon, Operations Lead

Ms. Gannon is a seasoned corporate and start-up executive, with wide ranging experience in corporate strategy, marketing, operations, and systems. She brings significant consulting experience assisting both corporations and startups seeking to launch high tech ventures, including experience as the CEO of Innovate St. Louis, a non-profit which fueled the St. Louis high-tech venture ecosystem. Previously, she co-founded Lendnetwork.com, a venture capital funded auto finance lender which grew to be one of the top three online auto finance platforms prior to selling to E*Trade Bank. She has also led significant systems development efforts and transformative organizational changes at IBM and Solutia.

Ms. Gannon holds an M.B.A. from Washington University, Olin School of Business, and a B.A. from Northwestern University.