I wrote this article as a guest blogger for the American Institute of Chemical Engineers blog, ChEnected. Check out the original and other useful content on the AIChE website. What's the Most Important Question for Your R&D Breakthrough? No matter how groundbreaking the science, every new idea and invention has to pass an all-important hurdle before it can find true success—and that hurdle is economic viability. To test whether an idea can make the cut requires running economic analysis, but taking a critical look at your prized new technology can feel like visiting the dentist. You know it’s important, but you probably don’t want to do it if you don’t have to. It takes time. It costs money.