In this perspective paper we discuss major trends that will shape the internationalisation of business R&D in the future. New scientific discoveries will provide new opportunities to innovate; the growing scientific capabilities in emerging economies will create new hot spots for relevant knowledge; new research activities will emerge from the need to combat climate change; digital technologies including artificial intelligence will further facilitate coordination and knowledge exchange within MNEs and help to create new products and services. Finally, techno-nationalism and new geo-political tensions urge for more attention to the interactions between MNEs and nation-states in science and technology. A perspective that considers science as a source of national superiority may be at odds with the global organization of R&D and innovation in multinational enterprises. As a conclusion, we see most trends that contribute to the growth of R&D internationalisation as intact. IB research should bring nation-states back into the analysis as actors, not as mere locational factors, and build on its own rich tradition of embracing multifaceted approaches and transcending intellectual boundaries and explore the dynamics of MNE R&D internationalisation.