slideshare ppt on research

Thursday, 27 June 2013

The Role of Basic Research in Innovation

This short article discusses the role of basic research in innovation. Policymakers and researchers tend to agree that basic research is important for society, also for innovation and economic growth. There is, however, considerable debate about why it is important and the implications of this importance.

One major problem is the frequent lack of definitions and precise formulations of the questions to be discussed. “Basic research” has many different meanings and definitions, and alternative terms like “strategic”, “fundamental”, “curiosity-driven”, “researcher-controlled” and “autonomous” only contribute to making the issue more confusing. The research and development (R&D) statistics use an intentional definition
where basic research refers to activities that have “no practical application in mind”. Scientists themselves often use other flexible definitions, e.g. based on the degree of theoretical content or ambition in a project
(Calvert 2006; Gulbrandsen & Langfeldt 2004). Sometimes basic research is regarded as the same as university research, but this is not necessarily correct. Statistical data show that in many countries, e.g. Norway, only about half of the R&D activities in the university sector are classified as “basic research”. Some firms also carry out basic research, although this is most often too risky for private companies even though they may benefit from it in the future (Rosenberg 1990). Finally, it has been argued that influential researchers have often strived for fundamental understanding, yet worked primarily with projects of an applied nature (Stokes 1997).