Where are the innovators? The answer to this question is complex; as an immediate response, one might answer, “It depends!” To begin with, it is appropriate to define two words that frequently cross each other in such discussions—innovation and research. Innovation has two common definitions: 1) a new idea, device, or method and 2) the act or process of introducing new ideas, devices, or methods. In contrast, research is defined as the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
From an industry perspective, both innovation and research apply across companies, ranging from technology giants to mom-and-pop shops. Obviously, the technology giants will typically invest far more into research than smaller companies operating on much tighter budgets, but, at all levels, some basic research will, in general, take place.
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