Juan Mulet, a member of the IFI Innovation Council, writes in Cinco Días, one of the leading economic journals in Spain, about how R&D and innovation are essential for technological advancement and for economic development.
There is a broad coincidence that after the crisis will be imposed worldwide knowledge economy, so it would be very convenient to solve as soon as possible the confusion that manifests in many public and private speeches about such elementary concepts as R&D or innovation .
Before the Spaniards came to think of the R&D+i acronym, we spoke little, but separately, of R&D and innovation. Two different realities that have in common its reason to be in knowledge. Following the criteria of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), R&D refers to the activities carried out by both public and private organizations, aimed at generating new knowledge. And innovation, the set of actions undertaken by companies, in order to bring new or improved goods or services to the market, and one of these actions can be their own R&D. The OECD has imposed different methodologies for measuring the efforts that its countries dedicate to R&D (Frascati Handbook) and innovation (Oslo Handbook).
The differences between R&D and innovation are both in the way they are developed, as well as in the conditions that must be met in order for them to bear fruit and, of course, in terms of their public policies for development. The first is developed in a context of learning, where proof and error and excellence are the exponents of these works. The second corresponds to the business environment, where efficiency and economic relevance are paramount.