R&D differs from other corporate activities in that it does not generally yield immediate profit, it carries a greater risk and it generates an uncertain return on investment. R&D is, nevertheless, a necessary part of the innovation lifecycle and therefore crucial to the longer-term competitiveness of catalyst companies. R&D budgets are under scrutiny and companies are eager to ensure that their R&D funds are spent wisely. Firstly, it is important to ensure that R&D projects are aimed at solving the big issues in the markets in which the catalyst companies wish to operate. In addition to direction, speed is important and collaboration between various research groups can generate a breakthrough much more rapidly and cheaply. Those research groups may be based within the same chemical company, at universities or even with customers. It is important for corporate R&D groups to maintain good contacts with business managers to ensure the research projects they are working on remain relevant. Once relevance has been confirmed, the real question is how to gain insight into the fastest route at the lowest possible costs.
High throughput experimentation, experimental design and collaboration between different groups are important tools for achieving the desired goal more rapidly. At an early stage in the R&D project, it is important to consider the manufacturing of the new product and such questions as whether it will be possible to manufacture the new catalyst in existing facilities, whether the manufacturing conditions used in the laboratory are safe for large-scale production or special safety precautions might be necessary and whether you will be able to manufacture this catalyst yourselves, should you invest in manufacturing capability, or should you deploy a toll manufacturer? Early consideration of commercial-scale manufacturing results in shorter product development times and a faster time to market.
Catalyst Intelligence can assist R&D organisations in defining the right objectives based on independent market research. We can find you collaboration partners in universities or industry to ensure more rapid progress at lower cost. And we can provide manufacturing support, by either introducing new technologies or finding a toll manufacturing partner. Efficient R&D projects help you gain a sustainable, competitive advantage.
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