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  • May 18, 2024
  • Last Update May 7, 2023 10:40 am
  • Hannover


As we consider many aspects of the technical function, common terms we will use include:

  • Technology
  • Invention
  • Patent
  • Innovation
  • Research and development

In the scientific world, terms like research and development are tossed around as loosely because the term marketing is overused within the business world.

Marketing could be a “glamour” term. While many folks claim to figure in marketing, few truly do. the same dynamic is observed in technological areas: some those that don’t add research and development say they are doing and truly do, while others, who don’t try and categorize their work, actually specialize in research and technological activities.

We will explain the assorted aspects of research and development.

If you’re a technical manager, you need to clearly understand these aspects to organize budgets and also determine your return on investment (ROI) resulting from budgeted activities.

Assume that you just manufacture T-shirts with various silk-screened designs. you’ll have one employee in your small business. Suppose you decide that you simply want to manufacture T-shirts from different fabrics so that they will be more wrinkle-free, water-resistant, or whatever.

You obtain samples from your materials supplier and wash them, dry them, and deliberately wrinkle them to work out whether or not they resist wrinkles. this can be research.

You might ask the supplier of your coloring materials to supply you with swatches of materials dyed with different colors because you fabrics you simply researched. you will want to determine how the colours withstand washing and drying. This is also research.

After you choose on a replacement fabric and new colors and you mix them, you’re able to go in the event phase of research and development. If you queried your existing customers regarding what fabrics and colours they’ll want within the future, you would have performed marketing research. Major corporations spend millions of dollars a year on research and development functions and use thousands of individuals on their research and development staffs. The principle is that the same because the one you applied to your T-shirt business; the difference is that giant corporations work on a far larger scale.

Research and development in a very large company could also be two separate functions contained in separate buildings or both functions could also be handled by one group.

The development segment of research and development usually includes a product or a process model to see the feasibility of converting a brand new idea into a product. within the T-shirt scenario above, you would make some shirts and test them by having people wear them outdoors within the sunlight, wash them, and wear them again and again until you’re convinced that you just have a satisfactory product.

Automobile manufacturers build cars before production, run them on a test track, and measure various parameters to see whether the new product meets their requirements. the desire also measure additional characteristics to make sure that the new parameters don’t interfere with or change existing ones. If a auto maker installs a GPS system in its cars, it’ll test the GPS and other functions to make certain that the air conditioning and other systems still function effectively.

Basic Research

Basic research formerly involved scientific investigation of a chemical or other item, usually without knowing the last word use of the knowledge gained. this can be not the case. Basic research remains conducted, but practitioners have some knowledge about the potential uses for the knowledge acquired. as an example, the character of sunshine may be investigated without a certain outcome in mind. However, potential uses include communications, energy transfer mechanisms, and other applications. Another example is research to see DNA sequences of humans. Learning more about which genes control what functions may result in cures for diseases, although the initial research was intended purely to realize knowledge. Sea life research may lead to applications within the area of food production. the overall direction of basic research is understood but the top application isn’t.

One of the most effective attributes of a researcher is an inquisitive mind.

Asking why something happens then continuing to ask “what if…” is one characteristic of a decent researcher. Another is perseverance. If he makes a “discovery,” nobody knows if he’s right or wrong—yet.

Applied Research

Applied research is directed toward particular applications. For example, when a drug company directs research toward a compound that may reduce high vital sign, it’s already identified the causes of high vital sign and directs its research to compounds that will overcome or circumvent these causes. Vasodilator compounds dilate veins and arteries within the cardiovascular system, thereby reducing pressure level. vessel dilation is one mechanism used to lower force per unit area. A tranquilizer that calms an individual and thereby reduces stress may additionally lower blood pressure; this represents another route to be studied. Both efforts are samples of applied research: we seek a particular end and direct our research toward achieving that end.

Another area of applied research is fiber optics. This technology produced transmission lines capable of carrying way more data than earlier metal conductor lines. Wireless technology plus the digital transmission of information led to enormous strides in communication of information via computer systems, smart phones, high definition television, and other devices. the main points of research and development are covered more thoroughly in Chapter 13.


An invention may be a device, technique, or process which will end in a significant change during a technological application. the appliance is vital to the invention. Although some inventors have devised many new ideas, that they had no immediate applications and thus weren’t true inventions. you want to be creative to create and if you invent something, you must be able to answer certain questions:

  • what’s it?
  • What does it do?
  • Why is it better than what we already have?

If you would like to create money from your invention, answer the subsequent questions:

  • Can it’s made readily?
  • Will people buy it?

Many people think an invention must be patented. No invention must be patented. A patent provides legal protection for the inventor of a process or product, so pursuing a patent may be a prudent step.

Why would you not patent an invention? When an inventor applies for a patent, records filed with the government agency are open for public inspection. While a patent grants exclusivity for 17 years, the method reveals details of your invention to the overall public. Some companies such as producers of rubber and plastic items elect to not patent their formulations. They base this practice on the idea that requirements of their production technique (time, temperature, pressure, etc.) can not be duplicated without knowledge of the formula and other conditions relevant to the method. In essence, they acquire protection for an indefinite time just by not revealing the formulation and conditions of manufacture. Most companies, however, prefer to patent their products and processes and reap all the rewards they will in their 17 years of exclusivity.

Do not think you’ll be ready to attract investors just because you invented something that you simply think is great. Prudent investors— those who survive within the financial world are prudent—invest money only if you’re willing to take a position a number of your own. Being an inventor is usually not sufficient to convince investors to produce money to you or your company. you want to be willing to speculate your own money too.

A large company might buy or license your patent. If an oversized company agrees to speak to you, you may must produce the patent along with a model or results obtained from a model. However, large companies usually don’t want to speak to new inventors for 2 reasons:

  1. The “not invented here” (NIH) syndrome. you will think that an executive of a significant company would welcome you and your invention because you’ll help his company make a brand new product. That seldom occurs. Large companies don’t want to have to admit that an “outsider” invented items they produce.

This has nothing to try and do with the standard of your invention; it relates to human frailties and insecurities.

  1. Large companies don’t want to be involved in lawsuits. Companies are sued by inventors in cases where the companies were performing on products or processes at the identical time individuals approached them with patented inventions.

When the products reached the market, the inventors sued. In such cases, the corporate would win by proving it had the technology and didn’t steal the concept. However, large companies don’t want the expense, aggravation, and bad publicity arising from such suits and so prefer to not entertain ideas from independent inventors.

If you’re an inventor, think twice about who will buy or license your patent or product and the way you may approach such a buyer. Library research is so as. think about one company that will have an interest, find its SIC or NAICS designation, and research other companies that have that SIC or NAICS. Contact the company via letter with a follow-up telephony, or engage a sales and marketing firm to create the contact.

If you choose to start out a corporation and produce your product, innovation centers that will or might not be related to your local economic development authority can assist you. Many of those centers are at major universities.

The general characteristics of an inventor include (1) extreme curiosity, (2) determination, (3) persistence to an extreme level, (4) positive thinking, and (5) creativity—a quality that’s difficult to define.

Creativity could also be the flexibility to relate facts that almost all people cannot relate and put them together in such the simplest way that they cause a conclusion that ultimately ends up in a replacement idea or invention.


As we mentioned earlier, while an inventor isn’t required to get a patent, doing so is typically an honest idea. When someone invents a product or process within the course of his work for a serious corporation, the patent is assigned to the corporation. The inventor’s name is on the patent but the patent is assigned to the corporation. If the person has earned elite status within the hierarchy of inventors within a corporation, he or she could also be in an exceedingly position to share within the monetary rewards (via share or on a percentage basis). this can be rarely the case for two reasons. First, many innovations don’t result from the efforts of one single inventor; they are available from integrated efforts of variety of people in an exceedingly company. Second, the corporation is much larger than any inventor and it’ll prevail.

Someone may tell you that you simply don’t need an attorney; you’ll be able to perform a patent search, apply for a patent for less than $300, and save yourself plenty of cash. Yes, you’ll do the specified search and prepare the documents but it’ll cost much more than $300. Typically, the costs to pursue a patent are:


If you perform a patent search and prepare your own application, you can save the money required for the primary two items. However, government patent examiners frequently “bounce” applications back to applicants and patent attorneys understand how to resubmit them and ultimately get patents issued. If you’ll handle a resubmission, you can probably prepare your own application. The filing fee goes to the U.S. government agency.* Most attorneys will treat the filing fee as a client cost and bill you for the number. you will wish to browse the Patent Office website to look at other patents and find accustomed to submission requirements.

As to friends who suggest you file your own patent, ask what number patents they obtained by pursuing the method on their own. If they have performed their own searches and filings and are wealthy, listen.

If not, ask whether or not they would drill and fill their own teeth to avoid paying a dentist.

Think carefully about filing for a patent. The figures cited above are subject to alter and therefore the process is complex. Consider the value of obtaining a patent relative to your anticipated income from the invention.

Now you have got the right perspective. If your invention is just going to earn $1,000 or $2,000 for you, your market is incredibly small and the need for patenting is questionable apart from the private satisfaction of having a patent issued in your name.

The figures above don’t represent idle speculation. They cover the common range of costs. My two patents are on an environmentally friendly, sustained release, chemical delivery product. The patent applications were submitted through my patent attorney, Eric La Morte, of Yardley, Pennsylvania. he’s one among the first of attorneys registered with the authority (one requirement is an undergraduate degree in an exceedingly science or engineering field), and his services are worth every dollar i’ve got spent. For further reading on patents and marketing ideas, i like to recommend Millions from the Mind, 2nd Edition (Alan R. Tripp, Taletyano Press, 2003). I read this book, spoke with

Alan, and strongly suggest that anyone curious about patents, and particularly those who like better to pursue a patent independently, read it.


An innovation is basically the applying of an invention or an inspiration. It can be small or large, betting on whether it represents a serious breakthrough or an improvement to an existing product or process.

What seem to be major innovations sometimes result from a series of smaller innovations. for instance, after the phonephone was invented, digital transformation and transportation of data and other

innovations led to the fashionable fax machine. nobody decided 80 years ago to create a fax machine.

The purpose is that while innovations are significant in their title, they also result in other innovations. The more knowledge we’ve, the more we are able to accomplish by building upon it.


Today, we link science and technology through many science-based technological developments. However, technology failed to always connect with science. within the agricultural societies of the 18th century, changing the form of a tool—an innovation so to speak—was considered new technology. Certainly, the modifications of farming tools to be pulled by animals constituted a replacement technology. in additional recent times, the mechanization of hand tools into earth movers and tractors led to further technologies.

Now, linking technology with science, for instance, in digital electronics devices, is common practice. Other science-based industries are supported chemistry, physics, biology, and arithmetic.

The computer is maybe the foremost prominent technological development of our time.

The basketballs employed by the National Basketball Association (NBA) were formerly made of leather. Modern basketballs are composed of composites of varied materials specifically designed to supply the same bounce, exhibit rather more durability, and last for much longer.

Modern technology, by virtue of computers, new composite materials, electronics, chemistry, physics, and more, plays a significant role in all aspects of life. we will not lock ourselves into a specific definition of technology. We all have opportunities to advance it. If you have a concept as a results of asking yourself the “what if…?” question, refine your idea by puzzling over it in additional detail so pursue its application. you’ll provide great benefit to yourself and to society.

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