In Research and development (R&D) we are intended to create new or improved technology that can provide a competitive advantage at the business, industry, or national level. While the rewards can be very high, the process of technological innovation (of which R&D is the first phase) is complex and risky.

Academic and Institutional R &D

The objective of academic and institutional R&D is to obtain new knowledge, which may or may not be applied to practical uses. In contrast, the objective of industrial R&D is to obtain new knowledge, applicable to the company’s business needs, that eventually will result in new or improved products, processes, systems, or services that can increase the company’s sales and profits.


In many cases, technology required for industrial purposes is available in the marketplace—for a price. Before embarking on the lengthy and risky process of performing its own R&D, we are in phase of “make or buy” analysis and taking our decision for different products whether to make or buy that would at least justify R & D. Factors that influence the decision include the ability to protect the innovation, its timing, risk, and cost.

Moving Ahead With R & D

R&D can be conducted in-house, under contract, or jointly with others. In-house R&D commands a strategic advantage: the company is the sole owner of the know-how created and can protect it from unauthorized use. R&D is also basically a learning process; in-house research thus trains the company’s own research people who may go on to ever better things.