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Research and development (R&D or R+D; also known in Europe as research and technological development or RTD) is the set of innovative activities undertaken by corporations or governments in developing new services or products, and improving existing ones. Research and development constitutes the first stage of development of a potential new service or the production process.
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R&D activities differ from institution to institution, with two primary models of an R&D department either staffed by engineers and tasked with directly developing new products, or staffed with industrial scientists and tasked with applied research in scientific or technological fields, which may facilitate future product development. R&D differs from the vast majority of corporate activities in that it is not intended to yield immediate profit, and generally carries greater risk and an uncertain return on investment. However R&D is crucial for acquiring larger shares of the market through the marketisation of new products. R&D&I or R&D&i are also acronyms with the same general meaning of R&D and stand for research, development and innovation.
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