When I think about my business, I often end up at one fundamental business truth. The goal of any business is to make profit. This is achieved by either making more money or reducing costs. Often, business activities are outsourced to experts in order to achieve one of these. For example, I outsource my accounting to an expert, in order to a) ensure that I’m being tax efficient (save costs) and b) because I lack the expertise and the time/desire to obtain it (save costs).
Most traditional outsourcing routes (e.g. accountancy, recruiting, etc.) affect either making more money (e.g. marketing) or reducing costs (e.g. recruiting). Outsourcing research and development is different, in that it can benefit your business in both of these ways.