Research and development (R&D) are a business necessity; expense categories; learning opportunities; and potentially costly undertakings. Consider the R&D spending in 2020 to come up with a vaccine for COVID-19 – materials, labor, testing, more testing, and more materials and labor all over the world.
R&D typically applies to product development. Inventors and patent seekers look at the market, at unmet needs, at needs that could be better met, and at both technological as well as manual approaches that might lead to a new or better anything. Engineers and product managers look additionally look at how much demand might there be if we create it and attempt to sell it. They ask questions such as “will our investment be paid for, adequately rewarded, and make us more money than if we hadn’t done the research and development that lead to the production and marketing costs to release this new object?”