The cycle of ideas in research development and technology transfer
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When people talks about research, development and technology transfer (RTD in short) and commercial industrial activities, it is quite usual to mix up objectives, resources and responsibilities. There is a growing opinion, spread by some public administrators and the media, that research groups at universities and RTD centers must be "profitable". In few words, many persons would wish that research is funded with competitive funds or even loans (either public or private) and that the outcomes of the research get into the market rapidly, so that the profits from marketing the corresponding products will allow research groups to be financially self-sustaining. It is also usually argued that companies should increase their research activity and invest more resources in finding new discoveries. The humoristic limit of this situation is pretending that companies will produce Nobel laureates and that a research group would be among the 10 first positions in the ranking of economic organizations in a country. Certainly, both these situations are not impossible, although they are highly improbable. The opposite case is, unfortunately, more frequent, ie. that researchers compelled by their needs to guarantee the financial survival of their groups, abandon or considerably reduce their fundamental research activities, and that companies, confusing what is a Technical Department with an Innovation Department, consider themselves self-sufficient and underestimate or ignore the contact with the real RTD world.
CitationOñate, E. "The cycle of ideas in research development and technology transfer". 2011.
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