Session 1-A

R&D Strategy: Defining Visions for a Career in Science and Technology

Wednesday, November 2, 2:00 - 2:50 PM

Speaker(s): Vicki A. Barbur

Attendees at the R&D 100 Conference demonstrate their unequivocal passion and interest in science, technology, and subsequent research and development work. A relevant question we should ask now is how do we ensure that in today’s environment, where recognition and immediate satisfaction are often the accepted norm, that long-term, personal dedication and passion for science and research will continue?

Career choices are typically made early in school or university, before exposure and experience have much influence on individuals and before other responsibilities dictate the needs for work/life balance. The majority of those involved in science, technology, and research and development today have been influenced largely by the school curriculum and/or the influence of a special teacher or professor. In addition, some also benefit from family traditions and encouragement to make new discoveries, to understand and innovate, and to find new solutions to old and new problems.  

With the current availability and access to information and the often interactive capabilities that minimize the need to explore and discover through real experiments, can we guarantee the same or even greater passion for science and research in today’s world?

How can we enhance interest and commitment in applied science, and furthermore, the long-term satisfaction of a career in science, technology, and R&D?

How can we also encourage the desire to work on breakthrough open-ended science that supports and sustains advancement and progress of technology including growth in business?

This presentation will outline some key examples of ways in which companies can evolve their R&D strategy to ensure that passion is retained through their staff demographics—and that the same kind of commitment to R&D is pervasive for generations to come.

The prime motivation must remain the conviction that discovery of new and unexpected outcomes—which emerge when exploring unchartered territory—has a profound impact on society and can lead to prosperity and healthy and fulfilled lives. Motivation and compensation are often key drivers of immediate satisfaction, followed by public perception and recognition of genuine effort and dedication. Fundamental models for both business and technology advancement in new start-up entities will be compared and contrasted with traditional models employed in established companies.