There are few discussions of research funding, research program planning, and execution that do not include comments about what really ought to be researched. Governmental agency and industry management hierarchies constantly talk about the need for a better focus on research programs so that research will meet agency and organization needs. Users in production departments, operational personnel in agencies, and consumers often complain about the lack of relevance of the research program and about the lack of timeliness of research results.

Let us take the case of a research laboratory where sponsors, though quite satisfied with the research output of the laboratory, nonetheless provided these kinds of comments about the ...

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