This paper discusses results of a two-year Rand project that attempted to establish empirically the appropriate priorities for funding R&D by quantitatively linking R&D with plant performance, especially in the solids processing industry. Among its conclusions it found that (1) the key performance problems in solids processing plants are associated with mechanical and physical, rather than chemical, difficulties; (2) the problems that are not successfully resolved by R&D are those that do not fit well with the way in which the oil and chemical industries have evolved their R&D system; and (3) the solids processing industry needs to both change the priorities of its R&D agendas and to consider fundamental changes in the ways in which R&D allocations are made and the R&D system operates.
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