Definition: Large-scale projects
Large-scale projects, of which defence and aerospace are the most significant types, usually cover a spectrum of activity from experimental to preproduction development. In such circumstances, the funding and/or performing organisation often cannot distinguish between the R&D and other elements of expenditure. This distinction between R&D and non-R&D expenditures is particularly important in countries where a large proportion of government R&D expenditure is directed to defence.
It is very important to look closely at the nature of very costly pilot plants or prototypes, such as the first of a new line of nuclear power stations or of ice-breakers. They may be constructed almost entirely from existing materials and using existing technology, and they are often built for simultaneous use for R&D and for providing the primary service concerned (power generation or ice breaking). The construction of such plants and prototypes should not be wholly credited to R&D.
Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), "Main Definitions and Conventions for the Measurement of Research and Experimental Development (R&D). A Summary of the Frascati Manual 1993", OECD, Paris, 1994, p.14