The Internal Organisation of RD

A long-standing, shorthand way of describing the spectrum of activities, which make up the totality of research and development, is to use the letters R and D in lower and upper case; e.g. R, R&d, R&D, r&D and D, and to talk about "big R, big R and little d, big R and big D etc".

• R (big R) is pure or fundamental research with no development in mind, most common in research universities or institutes.

• R&d (big R and little d) is product or process research with development only to the level of feasibility studies. Characteristically this work leads to new business ventures.

• R&D (big R and Big D) is an integrated activity from initial research on a new product or process to full-scale development. The type ofwork done in support of a technologically advanced, existing businesses.

• r&D (little r and big D) is that work that is carried out to establish new products and processes, or to make minor modifications to an existing range. This work is typical of the type of work carried out in many small chemical companies.

• D (big D) involves the incremental improvement of existing products or processes on an ongoing basis. It is a good way of increasing profits, and an essential activity if a product or process is to remain profitable in the long term.

Whilst these shorthand descriptors are useful in clarifying the various roles for research and development activities, they are not in common currency. In most com panies R&D is the term that is used to cover the five main areas of basic research, product research, applied research, process development, and technical service [B-7].

Process Development often encompasses the area of process research, and technical service includes applications research. Analytical research is done less and less within companies these days, being left to specialist organisations, and analysis is therefore covered in Section B, 2.1. In bigger companies, the three main areas of R&D, product, process and applied, are often managed separately, but in small companies one group is likely to be responsible for all the activities (see Figure B7). In the context of this book, this difference between small and large companies is irrelevant, as the principles employed in R&D management will be the same in both cases.

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Project Management Made Easy

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