What is R&D and How can Research and Development help us in our Business

Business R and D signpost What is R&D?

  1. DEFINITION of ‘Research And Development – R&D‘ Investigative activities that a business chooses to conduct with the intention of making a discovery that can either lead to the development of new products or procedures, or to improvement of existing products or procedures.

How might businesses use the R&D data collected?

Business R&D data from the BRDIS survey will be aggregated and provided by major industry, by line of business or business segment, by state (for U.S. R&D), and by country (worldwide R&D expenses). Businesses will be able to use the data in a variety of ways, for example:

  • To compare their R&D expenses to industry or to business segment averages.
  • To see where R&D is being done in the United States and to compare the amounts of R&D done domestically and worldwide.
  • To assess the education attainment of R&D employees, and to compare the ratio of male to female employees.
  • To see the types of organizations that provide funding to business R&D.


Where is most Business R&D in the United States?

Raymond Wolfe and Brandon Shackelford share information in their report, 2011 Data Show U.S. Business R&D Highly Concentrated by State and Metropolitan Location that “Nearly half of the research and development paid for and performed by companies in the 50 United States and the District of Columbia in 2011 was performed in five states: California, Washington, Texas, Massachusetts, and Michigan. Companies performed $239 billion of R&D paid for by their own company expenses in the United States in 2011, of which $233 billion was distributed across the 50 states and the District of Columbia. These findings are from the National Science Foundation’s 2011 Business R&D and Innovation Survey (BRDIS).

BRDIS estimates of business R&D that is not paid for by the performing company itself but by others—such as customers, partners, or grant-giving organizations—show that this R&D is also geographically concentrated, though these estimates are less precise than those for self-funded business R&D.

The sample for BRDIS was selected to represent all for-profit companies with five or more domestic employees, publicly or privately held, with an emphasis on those that perform or fund R&D. The survey also captured information on companies whether or not they perform or fund R&D. For 2011, a total of 43,108 companies were sampled for BRDIS, representing 1,964,757 companies in the population. Statistics from the survey are subject to both sampling and nonsampling errors.”


After reading through this report, I became curious about the changes that have been happening in our country over the past 4 years since this report was published. I have been noticing a switch for many open-minded companies concerning their location, business hours, and employee expectations.

One such company I have been reading about is Aetna.

According to Jon R. Katzenbach, Ilona Steffen, and Caroline Kronley, “In late 2000, John W. Rowe, MD, became Aetna’s fourth CEO in five years. Employees skeptically prepared for yet another exhausting effort to transform the company into an efficient growth engine. This time, however, they were in for a surprise. Rowe didn’t walk in with a new strategy and try to force a cultural shift to achieve it. Instead, right from the start, he, along with Ron Williams (who joined Aetna in 2001 and became its president in 2002), took time to visit the troops, understand their perspective, and involve them in the planning.

… this time, without ever describing their efforts as “cultural change,” top management began with a few interventions. These interventions led to small but significant behavioral changes that, in turn, revitalized Aetna’s culture while preserving and championing its strengths.

Indeed, during the next few years it became clear, from surveys, conversations, and observation, that a majority of Aetna’s employees felt reinvigorated, enthusiastic, and genuinely proud of the company. And Aetna’s financial performance reflected that. By the mid-2000s, the company was earning close to $5 million a day. Its operating income recovered from a $300 million loss to a $1.7 billion gain. From May 2001 to January 2006, its stock price rose steadily, from $5.84 (split adjusted) to $48.40 a share.”


This encourages me to believe that by using wisdom, ope-minded strategies, and including the people directly involved we can create better business for ourselves and those we employ.


About Anna Campbell

Passionate about living life and using business as a force for good. Let's get together for coffee & discover your company's full potential. #bthechange Website: http://mrsannacampbell.com

Posted on March 3, 2015, in Business Management and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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