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Research and Development (R&D) management involves overseeing and controlling the research and development department of a given company. Research and development is the process of developing new ideas in order to patent, market or sell those ideas. Research and development exists in many industries but is most common in the technology industry and the drug industry where there is a consistent need for newer, better and more innovative projects and where more extensive research and work must be done to make those products a functional reality.
There are a number of different things that go into research and development management, depending on the industry and the type of project being done. One of the main components of research and development management involves overseeing, managing and allocating the budget assigned to given research projects. Research and development, or R&D, when conducted by for-profit companies, is designed to produce a product that will be profitable for the company when patented or sold.
R&D managers must ensure that funds are allocated only to products likely to produce a good return-on-investment (ROI) and that any funds invested are reasonable in light of what the ROI will ultimately be if the product is developed properly. For example, it would not be logical to allocate millions in funds to create a drug used to treat a minor illness that only a small portion of the population has, since there would be both a small market and little willingness to pay high prices for the given drug. On the other hand, allocating millions to research cures for cancer is a more appropriate investment since there are many people with cancer who would pay large sums of money to be made healthy.
Research and development management also involves overseeing the process of R&D and ensuring that all requirements are complied with. This is especially important in the drug industry, where there are generally stringent controls put in place by the government before a drug can be approved for use and sale. For example, in the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) imposes standards for how drugs must be tested and requires a set amount of clinical trials before a drug is approved. Research and development management entails overseeing the programs to ensure that no R&D process breaks the laws associated with human testing. They also ensure sufficient records are kept so that the records may be submitted to the FDA when applying for approval of the drug.