Definitions - Research, Development, and R&D Plant
Research, development, and R&D plant include all direct, incidental, or related costs resulting from, or necessary to, performance of R&D and costs of R&D plant, defined as follows, regardless of whether the R&D is performed by
a Federal agency (intramurally) or by private individuals and organizations under grant or contract (extramurally). R&D excludes routine product testing, quality control, mapping and surveys, collection of general-purpose statistics,
experimental production, and the training of scientific personnel.
- Research is systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Research is classified as either basic or applied according to the objectives of the sponsoring agency.
In basic research the objective of the sponsoring agency is to gain more complete knowledge or understanding of the fundamental aspects of phenomena and of observable facts, without specific applications toward processes or products in mind.
In applied research the objective of the sponsoring agency is to gain knowledge or understanding necessary for determining the means by which a recognized need may be met.
- Development is systematic use of the knowledge or understanding gained from research, directed toward the production of useful materials, devices, systems, or methods, including design and development of prototypes and processes. It
excludes quality control, routine product testing, and production.
- Demonstration activities that are part of R&D (i.e., that are intended to prove or to test whether a technology or method does in fact work) are included. Demonstrations intended primarily to make information available about new
technologies or methods are not included.
- R&D plant (R&D facilities and fixed equipment, such as reactors, wind tunnels, and particle accelerators) includes acquisition of, construction of, major repairs to, or alterations in structures, works, equipment, facilities, or
land for use in R&D activities at Federal or non-Federal installations. Excluded from the R&D plant category are expendable or movable equipment (e.g., spectrometers, microscopes) and office furniture and equipment. Also excluded are the
costs of predesign studies (e.g., those undertaken before commitment to a specific facility). These excluded costs are reported under total conduct of research and development. Obligations for foreign R&D plant are limited to Federal funds for
facilities located abroad and used in support of foreign research and development.