Resolving competition between researchers and the development team

Where the competition comes from

In the early days of a new field of technology, a talented and imaginative researcher/engineer or small group could take a new technology all the way from inspiration to the market. The Wright Brothers were a classic example. However, as the complexity of the technologies increase and new industries are formed, the responsibility for the development of new improvements to a technology and for the development of new products using the technologies become segregated into the research departments and the system development departments. Research scientists focus on the TRL 1-6 inventing and maturing of a new technology. The new product development engineers, manufacturers, testers, and operators take over the final stages of bringing the new/improved technology into successful operation when it makes sense to use that new technology—repeat, when it makes sense to use that new technology.

With this segregation of responsibility often comes competition between the researchers and the developers for the selection and control of the technologies to be used in the product design. The reason for this competition is the different success criteria between the research community and the product development community regarding the application of new technologies. Being successful doesn’t mean the same to both communities.