Research, Inc.
A commercial enterprise that focuses on research.
Up For Grabs

(permanent link) added: 2013-01-12 21:39:39 sponsor: justanid (last reply: 2013-02-12 19:01:18)

Add Tag:
Rolling Updates

Research, Inc. may be an enormous R&D lab part of a Mega Corp. or an independent firm that freelances for other companies, in any case they're usually in it for a profit or new toys. Think tanks, policy institutes, research laboratories, military bases, secret facilities; there's many locations a scientist (mad or otherwise) can get a decent salary (plus benefits) and never have to worry about ethical problems.

The actual facilities more than likely double as a modern Mad Scientist Laboratory, but could also be found abandoned. Actual research may occur or it could just be there For Science!. Often they're run by a Corrupt Corporate Executive.

Institutionalized R&D started around the 1790s in France, but didn't get going until the 1860s in the USA with the Cambria Iron Company, followed by the Pennsylvania Railroad, and eventually the famous Thomas Edison Electric Light Company. By World War II, most countries involved had research labs to make bigger & better weapons and the Cold War is famous for its Lensman Arms Race, with R&D not in the hands of governments so much as private contractors. Nowadays this trope is ubiquitous, and R&D itself is an essential part of our technological society. For example: the device with which you're reading this page.

Compare with Cut Lex Luthor a Check. Contrast with For Science!!, as this tends to be For Money!.


Examples:

Anime & Manga

Comic Books
  • In the DC Universe, S.T.A.R. Labs (Scientific and Technological Advanced Research) is an independent group of research laboratories throughout the U.S. It has a long history of coming up with high technology and new inventions, and has also regularly gotten involved in superheroic activities.

Films
  • Antigen in Underworld: Awakening focuses on medical research.
  • Bartok Industries starts up where Seth Brundle left off in The Fly II.
  • Cyberdyne Systems were at one point the origin of the Terminators and Skynet.
  • Bradford Labs in Inspector Gadget.
  • Star Wars has Sienar Advanced Projects Laboratory (designed Darth Maul's Scimitar starship) and Czerka Arms, which runs laboratories.

Literature
  • In the Heechee Saga, the Gateway Corporation makes all its money by researching applications of alien technology and other discoveries brought back by the volunteers who fly in the mysterious and often deadly alien ships found on Gateway asteroid.
  • In the Vorkosigan Saga, The Durona Group was set up by Miles' brother Mark (using some of the millions he got at Jackson's Whole) to research life-extension techniques that will help put an end to the morally repugnant Jacksonian clone-and-brain-swap business.
  • Galactic Cybersystems Corporation in The History of the Galaxy had a planet dedicated to R&D.

Live-Action TV
  • Fringe's Massive Dynamic specializes in biotech.
  • Eureka has Global Dynamics which isn't a true Mega Corp. as it only does R&D with government supervision.
  • The Hanso Foundation from LOST has the motto "Reach Out To A Better Tomorrow" and financed the DHARMA Initiative. While Mittelos Bioscience doesn't count as it's just a front the Others use for recruitment.
  • Doctor Who being a Long Runner has quite a few:
  • Babylon 5 and Crusade have Interplanetary Expeditions (IPX for short), a private Earth-based commercial company which funds archaeological expeditions to alien planets in the hopes of finding ancient technology to reverse-engineer and incorporate into Earth technology. They sort of dance on the line between outright Corrupt and merely kind of dodgy, and the minor characters in B5 and main character in Crusade that we see work for them often aren't the greatest of people even when they're on the good guys' side.

Tabletop Games

Theatre
  • In Urinetown, this is supposedly one of the primary missions of the UGC (Urine Good Company), the company that owns and operates the public toilets.
    It's mentioned mainly in passing in a musical number:
    We're not greedy, as some make us seem
    We need funds for our big research team
    What it shows, no one knows, but hey still we can dream

Video Games
  • Abstergo in Assassin's Creed. It also helps make money to keep a secret society going strong.
  • Deus Ex has Versalife which even has secret underground labs.
  • Resident Evil initially feature the Umbrella Corporation and later TRICELL were both into Pharmaceutical R&D.
  • Black Mesa Research Facility from Half-Life competed with Aperture Science for government grants with much more success.
  • Aperture Science from the Portal series was this, before Gla DOS killed off most of the employees and assumed direct control. Notably, they were so much more interested in wild experimentation and building insane contraptions than in corporate profit, that the company hit the rock bottom long before the whole omnicidal AI outbreak incident.
  • A central element of FEAR is the Armacham Technology Corporation (ATC), who's almost entirely responsible for all the all the problems in the game.
  • System Shock has the player run into a lot of products from Tri Optimum, a Mega Corp. with a division dedicated to science.
  • Prototype and Prototype 2 have GenTech, a genetics lab that seems to be directly controlled by Blackwatch, as all of their research, with projects like Blacklight and New Templar are things that only Blackwatch would support. You've got to wonder, where do they find the thousands of mad scientists it takes to run this place, seeing as it apparently is staffed purely by sociopaths and psychopaths.

Web Comics

Web Original

Western Animation

Real Life
  • German industrial corporation Robert Bosch GmbH. In its core automotive technology business, Bosch invests 9% of its revenue on research and development, nearly double the industry average of 4.7%. The other wiki has more information.


Indexes: Organization Index, Tropes on Science and Unscience
replies: 14

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy