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Pure Research vs. Applied Research

Much of the research conducted by the Alberta Research Council is intended to further economic development.Within the broad definition of research, there are two distinctions: pure and applied.

Pure research is for the sake of curiosity and functions to advance knowledge for its own sake. This type of research is usually carried out in government-funded projects by University research facilities or specific government laboratories.

Applied research is for the sake of technological advancements. This research anticipates that the results found will lead to the development of commercially viable goods or processes.

There is a relationship between these two types of research: pure research generates new ideas and applied research takes these ideas to create new inventions. Then, through development, the new inventions are transformed into commercial products. This is a simple model to understand the different types of research and the eventual development of new products.

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