This article discusses the importance of generic applied research with the aim of encouraging both the technical and political support of a program that would be appropriate and useful for the common good. A number of past, present, and future examples of applied research efforts related to fuel conservation are described, and an institutionalization of the means by which such efforts can be organized and utilized for an effective long-term fuel conservation program are suggested. The role of applied research in conservation is described and used as an example to show what a well-organized applied research program can produce. The same approach can also contribute to the attainment of such national goals as reducing atmospheric pollution, increasing industrial productivity, conserving scarce materials and developing renewable sources of energy. The development and improvement of electrical power generation as an example of the past role of applied research is described. Current efforts in applied research such as ceramic gas-turbine components, magnetohydrodynamic electric power generation, fluidezied bed combustion, and supercritical airfoil are also described. The most significant opportunities for future successes appear to be in automotive technologies, specifically aerodynamic drag and tribology (the science of friction, lubrication and wear). The institutionalization of applied research is examined and it is noted that what is needed primarily is a mechanism for generating appropriate applied research topics. The classical function of federally supported R&D is to develop technologies whose eventual payoff is potentially high but which entails too much risk for prudent private sector investment. The chief mechanism for ensuring that the responsibilities of a national program for applied research are properly discharged is a national forum for program planning and review. Engineering societies it is noted can provide the effective institutional umbrellas for such a national forum.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    American University

    Development Education and Training Research Institute
    Washington, DC  United States 
  • Authors:
    • Grey, J
    • Sutton, G W
    • Zlotnick, M
  • Publication Date: 1978-4-14

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 135-142
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00173934
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: American Association for Advancement of Science
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 18 1978 12:00AM