Research and development (R & D)
Basic research, i.e. research without a specific commercial objective; applied research, i.e. research with a commercial objective or the pursuit of an invention; and development work, i.e. the perfection of an invention, the work of turning research into products or processes, including the improvement of existing products. R. & D. expenditure is growing rapidly, both in the private sector and public sector, and is a matter of great relevance to economic policy because of its contribution to innovation.
Reference: The Penguin Dictionary of Economics, 3rd edt.