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Prof. Robert G. Cooper, McMaster University, Canada, pioneered a systematic method for new product development called the Stage-Gate Process, now implemented by almost 80% of North American companies. [ref 1-2]

Stage-Gate® is a registered trademark of Prof. Cooper’s company. The process/method is also known by its generic name as the Phase-Gate Method/Process. 

The basic idea is that the entire R&D project budget (say US $1 MM) is not funded, on day one, but incrementally approved and funded via a series of steps called Phases. So for example, $10,000 is released when a scientist proposes the idea. Then the scientist writes and submits a short report to management to explain the idea, competition, product value and uniqueness. If management likes the idea they fund an additional $50,000 to develop a Business Case. If management does not like the idea, the project is killed. 

In Phase Gate method new product development work is done in a series of steps from Concept to Commercialization. For example: 

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