Library Data

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Master Index
Library Data Index
Imperial Research Station: The worlds of the Imperium manifest a wide range of technological levels. The third Imperium has always allowed its member worlds a wide degree of latitude, and it meddles very little in local affairs. With communication limited to the same speed as transportation, a single offworld query can involve weeks, months, or even years before a reply is received. In addition, the cost of offworld transportation (in both time and money) tends to limit the interchange of information, the shipment of experimental prototypes, and other such activities that are basic to the dissemination of scientific knowledge.

Most worlds have found that simply purchasing advanced technology from a neighboring world is impractical. Not only is such high technology expensive, putting it to any cost-effective use requires that the technology be understood.

Consider: as useful as Tech Level 8 solid-state chip circuits are; they cannot be used on a large scale without the knowledge of electronics or the ability to provide supporting circuits (power circuits, circuit boards, and so on), which further implies a knowledge of photo processing, and even crystal culture. In the final analysis, attempting to jump to a higher Tech Level without passing through any of the intervening Tech Levels just doesn't work: one must pass through the lower stages of technological development on the way to higher Tech Levels.

Regardless of what the individual member worlds do, there are also certain large-scale interests in the Imperium which back research projects. Such research is generally privately backed (such as under contract by multiworld corporations), or it is sometimes performed in established Imperial Research Stations.

Private Research: On a scale as vast as the Imperium, it is often cheaper to duplicate research rather than search out and contract for technology elsewhere in the Imperium. However, trade between worlds tends to introduce new knowledge and technology to those who do not yet have it. If a certain offworld item proves useful, local companies may try to achieve the same technology with the goal of entering into local manufacture. Local manufacture has the advantage of taking into account local preferences, as well as providing local employment. It also avoids potential problems with licensing agreements and arrangements. -ld IE