The research aims to investigate the process of globalizing innovation activity conducted by transnational corporations (TNCs), in a wider context of economic changes outside and inside companies. The process has been triggered by decentralization and internationalization of R&D, “creative transition” of foreign subsidiaries as well as implementing research networks and  the open innovation model of TNCs’ innovation activity. Under the present economic crisis some slowdown and reorientation of innovation programs are implemented in order to reduce their costs and increase effectiveness. The globalization of corporate innovation activity can contribute to reaching some of  TNCs’ goals both under the present crisis and the future revival of the world economy.