Precise definition of how new ideas are generated and how results from R&D are converted into innovation are hard to articulate. In an article entitled "Serendipity or Sound Science?" Sutton (1986) points out that the Nobel Prize to Burton Richter and Samuel Ting resulted from discoveries that, though unexpected, were nonetheless the result of a lifetime of careful research. Sutton shows that the way to unexpected results lies not in accidents, but in excellence and in thorough scientific investigation with the best possible intellectual and laboratory resources.

An article entitled "The Acid Test of Innovation" (Bell et al., 1986, p. 32) provides several examples of innovation; it concludes as follows:

Serendipity, ...

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