The Strategy and Capital Allocation Framework announced in October 2015 focuses our portfolio on a set of reinforcing capabilities with strong inter-connections.
We are best-in-the-world in 3 Core Technologies, 4 Manufacturing & Engineering Platforms, and 5 Market-Access Platforms. Our probability of success increases as we apply more of these world-class capabilities. Our cost of innovation declines as we reapply talent and leverage our existing assets. Additionally, by combining capabilities, we create higher and more sustainable competitive barriers.
Focusing our portfolio means we direct 80% of our resources to opportunities that use existing capabilities from at least two of our three focus areas. Few competitors can match our expertise in any one of our focus capabilities, when we combine them, we can create market-leading positions and margins.
The Framework builds on the already high return we receive on our innovation investments. For example, over the last few years, we’ve invested in research and development at double the rate of our peers. On average, they’ve invested 4% of sales while we have invested 9% of sales. But we have delivered more than two times the operating margin, or 18% versus their 8% average. Said another way, our additional $1.3 billion investment in RD&E returned an additional $2.5 billion dollars over a three-year period. That is a huge premium.
Of course, we recognize that Corning is the natural leader for some great opportunities that do not require multiple capabilities. Our framework allows us to apply up to 20% of our resources to these opportunities. However, we know that those initiatives are riskier, so we only pursue them if the potential payoff is exceptional.
Going forward, we will re-apply our talent and leverage our manufacturing and market access platforms, to receive an even higher return.