In outmoded approaches, basic and applied research were seen as two activities with a different nature, carried out by different institutions and financed by different sources. During the last decade however, the boundaries between basic and applied research became obsolete and sometimes artificial. In some domains, basic research can be translated fairly rapidly into concrete applications. This has been the case, for example, with breakthroughs in molecular biology and immunology. Recent studies  confirm that it is precisely the mix of different types of R&D activities that has the most significant impact on the contribution of science to economic performance.