Research For The Small Business

Traditionally research has been associated with universities and largely seen as unrelated to our day-to-day lives.

In recent years, however, research is moving into the real world and increasingly replacing jobs lost by the movement of manufacturing to overseas locations.

A recent example is provided by the transformation of a building on the outskirts of Dublin, previously used for manufacturing goods for export, to a research and development facility.

The transformation is to accommodate IBM’s first research and development laboratory in the European Union, as part of its global Smarter Cities Centre.

The centre is focussed on using technology to solve real problems in relation to urban issues and the environment. It already employs more than 100 people and additional jobs are being added, as people with appropriate skills are recruited.

The initiative aims to benefit from the interaction of academic researchers and what IBM call research developers: people with the ability to turn research into products and services that can be sold.

While the centre will grapple with big issues such as transportation, water management and sustainable energy use, it also recognises the need for small and medium sized companies to handle data and information flow.

And so the loop from research to reality is complete as we can all learn – regardless of size – how to capture and manage to better effect the flow of information in our business.

We may not have the resources of IBM but we must understand the need to do our own research in order to create new products and services.

The number of manufacturing jobs will continue to decrease and the number of research jobs will continue to increase, so why not join a growing trend.

SO, identify the research you need to do within your business and use it to create new customers, markets and jobs.

What do you think? What does research mean for your business?

Leave your comments below.