Applied Research

Posted on June 4, 2006  Comments (0)

Steven Freilich leads a team working on next-generation TV and computer screens, examines a thermal color filter.

Photo: Steven Freilich examines a thermal color filter.

DuPont’s new path: research with results by Gary Haber:

Gone are the days when legions of DuPont scientists in the company’s Central Research and Development department could spend careers in blue-sky research that might never result in a product. The mantra at DuPont now is that research produces things customers will buy.

“To be effective, you start with the marketplace,” said Kwaku Temeng, a DuPont marketer who works with Central Research scientists to help them focus on commercial targets. “You find a problem and then bring the science to bear on it.”

It seems companies are less willing to do basic research. Still successful companies also see an oportunity in taking advantage of their competitors limited research: Microsoft Research, Honda Research, NTT.

But overall companies do not fund huge investments in basic research. Governments are funding basic research. China and Japan have been increasing funding recently. Foundations are also taking the lead in some cases: Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

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