AN OVERVIEW OF THE INFINITIES INVOLVED WITH THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
Regardless of the field of endeavor R&D should be viewed as part of an evolutionary continuum, the appropriate symbol for it being ∞, or infinity, since there is no actual beginning or end to it, only end results dropping off from the flow of that process.
Viewed in that way, R&D is both an organic and dynamic process drawing upon past developments and innovations from which to derive new ones on a continuous basis. It is therefore not so much a matter of making great leaps forward, as it is the accumulation of many “baby steps” forward which then, periodically, do cause great forward leaps. Thus, the rate of forward development is necessarily extremely variable, and one of the critical factors which effects that rate of forward development is having the most flexible and open economic, legal, political, and societal matrix possible to enhance and promote that process. In effect a matrix that acts as a kind of “incubator” for it. Without such a combination R&D does not thrive, as can be seen in many parts of the world where it doesn’t, because such a matrix isn’t present.
One of the reasons the United States has largely been pre-eminent in this respect is because it has generally had such a matrix throughout its history (despite periodic retrograde spasms within it). Further, no matter how miniscule or narrowly specialized any of its R&D efforts might be, there are always beneficial economic ripple effects that have derived from them. With its business enterprises, for example, the ROI from R&D has generally been on the order of a 7:1 ratio, which is why so many American companies have become dominant in their fields, such as aero-space, communications, transportation, energy, medicine, and even in the arts and culture, such as entertainment, etc. Those that haven’t have mostly faded away.
Given today’s state-of-the-art in various technologies and the lava-like flows of raw data volumes created by the digital world we live in, that brings us to the question of -WHAT-. What, is now needed to maintain and sustain our position as a leading source of innovation and forward development?
J. de Salis Sophrin & Associates, Inc. seeks to make it our mission to answer this question.