Research and experimental development / R&D


Dernière mise à jour le :27/01/2021


Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge and to devise new applications from available knowledge.R&D covers three types of activity: basic research, applied research and experimental development.

For an activity to be an R&D activity, it must satisfy five core criteria. The activity must be:

  • novel
  • creative
  • uncertain
  • systematic
  • transferable and/or reproducible

A set of common features identifies R&D activities, even if these are carried out by different performers. R&D activities may be aimed at achieving either specific or general objectives. R&D is always aimed at new findings, based on original concepts (and their interpretation) or hypotheses. It is largely uncertain about its final outcome (or at least about the quantity of time and resources needed to achieve it); it is planned for and budgeted (even when carried out by individuals), and it is aimed at producing results that could be either freely transferred or traded in a marketplace.

The term R&D covers three types of activity : basic research, applied research and experimental development.