I think a lot of the lack of R&D goes back to decisions made many years ago by the government. At one point all employee salaries regardless of how outrageous they were were a deductible expense. Congress decided they wanted to tax high salaried people. Therefore companies found ways around those laws. In comes stock bonuses and stock options. The problem with that is that a highly paid employee (most likely a decision maker) will do what is best for them, which is kick up the stock price so that they get higher effective pay. Easy way to do that, kill long term R&D. In addition with companies hiring people with business BS degrees who then get an MBA to manage, instead of the engineers, everything is looked at on the current P&L statement, not the 10+ year roadmap.
The combination of the higher ups wanting short term profits due to changes in tax law, along with many fewer R&D companies (HP for example) having engineers and technical people making decisions has decimated R&D.
I remember when HP meant test equipment and awesome calculators, not lousy consumer based computers (Thanks Carly). Another example, don't laugh too hard, is Radio Shack. I used to work for Radio Shack in the late 80's and the early 90's. When I started, they actually had R&D (they had a dye based CD-R technology they were working on, but had RIAA type problems with), manufacturing, a lot of electronic components, etc. When the founder of Tandy died, the MBA style management came in. They started off selling manufacturing, as that was not part of the "Core Business", sold off the credit card division, which made a nice one time profit, that then really made customers made because of lack of customer service, and lowered sales because of tighter credit requirements. They stopped carrying a lot of small parts, because of the low dollar value, regardless if they were high profit. In short, Charles Tandy, the leather salesman, ran it better and more profitably than the "business school" people that were bought in because he understood the business.
We need to find a way to encourage the people who know the business they are in to get higher up and make decisions, rather than feeding the orgy of MBA's and people with business degrees that now rule most companies. As to how, I have very little in the way of ideas, but I think some tax law encouraging long term and pure science R&D would be helpful, if it could not be bastardized for other purposes (yeah, I know, a pipe dream).