Types of Research

Basic Research

  • NSF definition of basic research: "Within the Federal, university, and non profit sectors, basic research is defined as research directed toward increases in knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts without specific application toward processes or products in mind."
  • For the industry sector, basic research projects are defined as "original investigations for the advancement of scientific knowledge which do not have specific commercial objectives, although they may be in fields of present or potential interest to the reporting company."

Applied Research

  • Within the Federal, university, and nonprofit sectors, applied research is defined as research directed toward gaining "knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized and specific need may be met."
  • For the industry world the definition is modified to include "research projects which represent investigations directed to discovery of new scientific knowledge and which have specific commercial objectives with respect to either products or processes."

Experimental Development

  • Experimental development is systematic work, drawing on knowledge gained from research and practical experience and producing additional knowledge, which is directed to producing new products or processes or to improving existing products or processes.