Seethuma: Directed Research Division
Pasteur's Quadrant: Driving the Engine of Innovation

It proposed a threefold categorization of research - with fundamental research leading to "results intended at the time the research is funded for dissemination to other researchers and educators"; strategic research to results "of evident interest to a broad class of users, external to the research community, that can be identified at the time the research is funded," although "the intended users of the results may also be within the research community"; and directed research to results bearing on "the specific needs of the sponsoring organization."
"Report of the Panel on the McKay Bequest to the President and Fellows of Harvard College" (Harvard University Printing Office)
Research that extends understanding but is also driven by the potential for use is known as Pasteur's quadrant.
Pasteur's Quadrant: Basic Science and Technological Innovation, Donald E. Stokes, Brookings Institution Press

"Investment in basic research and development and translation of discoveries into world-changing technologies is the engine that drives economic growth and the key to U.S. competitiveness."
Donald H. Levy, Vice President for Research and for National Laboratories.

"CEOs from two-thirds of America's fastest-growing private companies report that innovation is an organization-wide priority, and almost all say it has had a significant, positive impact on their business. However, one in four of those citing innovation as a priority say they do not have an R&D budget."
"Companies Say Innovation a Priority But Lack R&D Budget", SmartPros, LTD, March 16, 2005

Between 2003 and October 2005, more than twenty-five universities and national labs announced the creation or opening of nanotechnology research facilities. The average facility cost $44 million, has 117,000 square feet of space, houses 40 researchers and has an average annual operating budget of $28 million. What we haven't seen is 20 or 30 corporations make a similar announcement. Why? A corporation would need to allocate $324 million over ten years to establish a similar nanotechnology facility that may or may not generate viable commercial products. And this is just one possible direction for research in materials science.

Corporations need access to basic research. Lacking in-house facilities, many companies funded university research. But over the last two decades, universities have increasingly retained the results of their research, licensing to all comers or spun-off private ventures. The result has been corporations funding the research that forms the basis for new competitors. Outsourcing has led to a decline in core competencies and in some cases has also led to the creation of new competitors.

The most reasonable approach is to diversify research into a broad range of areas with many opportunities for cross-discipline collaboration. Such an approach is considerably more expensive than most firms are willing, or able, to bear. S:DRD gives partner corporations a means to fund this approach in a cost effective way while giving them greater access and control of the research results.

S:DRD plans to build a state-of-the-art research lab for up to one thousand researchers in basic and applied research fields. S:DRD will provide the facilities, equipment, support staff and operational funding for in-house basic research teams and teams of applied researchers from our corporate partners. Corporate partners will have exclusive, continuing access to the basic research teams and their results.

Follow one of the links if you would like more information about our plans.

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Last Updated: January 2016