Research and experimental development (R&D) comprise creative and systematic work undertaken in order to increase the stock of knowledge – including knowledge of humankind, culture and society – and to devise new applications of available knowledge. The term R&D covers three types of activity: basic research, applied research and experimental development. For an activity to be an R&D activity, it must satisfy five core criteria. The activity must be: • Novel (to be aimed at new findings) • Creative (to be based on original, not obvious, concepts and hypotheses) • Uncertain (to be uncertain about the final outcome) • Systematic (to be planned and budgeted) • Transferable and/or reproducible (to lead to results that could be possibly reproduced).
OECD (2015), Frascati Manual 2015: Guidelines for Collecting and Reporting Data on Research and Experimental Development.