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Investigate before Investing: Using Technology Transfer Principles to Guide R&D

Achieving space program goals in a cost- and time-efficient manner requires that research and development (R&D) investments be strategically directed. An efficient R&D strategy involves careful investigation into existing sources of technical solutions. The investigations into sources for potential technology solutions and the future potential market/social benefits via spin-off are complementary activities that can, and should, be undertaken simultaneously. The findings are dually informative and should be gathered before R&D investments are made. This paper describes how to conduct these investigations.