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Research and Development (R&D)

What Is Research and Development (R&D)?

Research and development, often shortened to R&D, is the activities that business carry out to innovate and generate new processes, products, service, or knowledge. Often the first phase of the developmental process, R&D allows businesses to keep ahead of its competition through developing new products or services, or even simply improving existing ones.

Many different sectors and industries conduct R&D, such as technology companies, computer software companies, pharmaceutical firms, beauty and skincare brands. R&D is more important to certain companies and types of businesses than others, for example a pharmaceutical company would spend most of their resources on R&D whereas a retail business would not consider it an important focus. Technology companies, Apple specifically, focus a significant amount of resources on R&D as their competitive advantage relies on their ability to release the most innovative and advanced devices and software compared to their competitors.

The R&D Process

The process of R&D is a cycle, consisting of;

1) Ideation, theorisation, and brainstorming new methods of innovation or improvement.

2) Researching and experimenting methods to carry out the improvements.

3) Designing and developing the new/ improved product or service.

R&D can be conducted in-house, under contract, or jointly with other companies. In-house R&D provides an advantage as the company is then the sole owner of the knowledge, skills, products, services etc that the R&D generated and can protect it from being used without authorisation through patents.

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Research and Development

What is R&D?

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