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Not so long ago, innovation was a must-do priority for business. Now research and development might seem more like vacation homes and new cars—luxuries that will have to wait for better times. In an annual survey of top executives by Boston Consulting Group, which provides the foundation of BusinessWeek's Most Innovative Companies list, more respondents said that innovation spending will be flat or down than since the ranking began in 2005. But recession and market meltdown aside, many on the 2009 ranking are finding ways to forge ahead.
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