R&D, or research and development, refers to a specific group of activities within a business. The activities that are classified as R&D differ from company to company, but there are two primary models. In one model, the primary function of an R&D group is to develop new products; in the other model, the primary function of an R&D group is to discover and create new knowledge about scientific and technological topics for the purpose of uncovering and enabling development of valuable new products, processes, and services. Under both models, R&D differs from the vast majority of a company's activities which are intended to yield nearly immediate profit or immediate improvements in operations and involve little uncertainty as to the return on investment (ROI). The first model of R&D is generally staffed by engineers while the second model may be staffed with industrial scientists. R&D activities are carried out by corporate or governmental entities.
Present-day Research and development is of great importance in business as the level of competition, production processes and methods are rapidly increasing. It is of special importance in the field of marketing where companies keep an eagle eye on competitors and customers in order to keep pace with modern trends and analyze the needs, demands and desires of their customers.