Keep On Innovating
Are today’s ‘blue sky’ instrumental techniques tomorrow’s industry standard?
Philip Marriott |
The research-driven imperative to conduct innovative and instrument-focused new research could be viewed as ‘blue sky’ and possibly remote from reality. But industry should keep an eye on such research – and ideally engage with its proponents. Why? Because it maintains and encourages real-world applications informed by best-practice studies. For instance, the pace of introduction of new mass spectrometry techniques probably significantly exceeds the speed with which new – and validated – standard methods of analysis can be written, at least initially. However, in time, they may become the new industry standard.
University research, for example, in instrument development typically must be ‘discovery-focused’, where grant success requires a significant discovery component to the research program. Application of a newly reported technique to a specific chemical problem might be noteworthy, but this alone does not constitute instrumental technique development. In my view, innovation is also necessary for its own sake.
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