Is there a theory and/or study backed way to measure/track and forecast research activities?
As it seems clear that R&D must be treated differently than production work for example, I could not find a reasonable metrics to track and forecast research activity.
I do find work on the necessity of tracking and forecasting research (e.g.Industrial Research Performance Management), but I do not find any description on how to do it.
The reason for my question is that research seems to be to unpredictable and non-linear in order to be measured in the same way as e.g. the production of a car.
So let's set up a case. Say a company has 30,000,000$ of research budget per year and the budget-owner wants to see where attention (and possibly improvement of the research process) is needed. The complete budget is divided in smaller projects. Which tools/metrics/processes are available to aid the budget-owner to see where projects are performing in a way that improvement (return on invest, speed or resource loading) is possible?