Some may question why the BBC puts so much effort into R&D. But with around 50 active projects, and an income of around £16m, including money from the licence fee, commercial licensing – the BBC has over 160 patents – and grants, the R&D team punches well above its weight.
(Inside the BBC's R&D Labs - From the Lab to the living room By Nigel Whitfield • 23 Nov 2011.)
A very salient point: it costs £16m but generates not just patents and their associated licensing income but the technology that drives not only your current TV, Radio and digital media experiences (for a start!) but is defining the future of those. Sixteen million pounts is remarkably cheap for what you're getting which over the course of time is worth many, many times this.
Now with the EPSRC Research Impact Assessments comming up in the UK, this point needs to be hammered home regarding impact and value versus cost.