Multidisciplinary research helps define and explore new ideas or investigate neglected areas. Many interviewees said that interacting with people in a professional's own discipline can usually only bring about incremental innovation, while collaborating with people from other disciplines can potentially lead to the generation of new ideas and revolutionary technologies.
Multidisciplinary projects make it possible to draw on the expertise of different disciplines to solve specific problems. In the scenario of applied research, most people said the collaboration was necessary because a single partner did not have sufficient expertise to do all the work on their own.
In addition, multidisciplinary research is considered essential nowadays to address complex issues that cross disciplinary boundaries. Nevertheless, some people have recognized that there is still a debate between the pros and cons of having, for example, computer science inspired by biology. In any case, there is certainly a need to develop more sophisticated artefacts, which is in favour of multidisciplinary research.
The advantage of multidisciplinary research is also that research can converge faster. Researchers are more effective if they are able to add their expertise to solve problems. Indeed, it would take more time for a single laboratory to acquire the level of expertise required in another field.
Another multidisciplinary project opportunity is that it can serve as a bridge between fundamental and applied research. Basic researchers can confront their knowledge with real problems and applied researchers can benefit from the most advanced knowledge.
In addition, the return on investment of research funding in one discipline is increased if knowledge from one field can be applied in another. This also applies to using tools or methodologies from one discipline to solve problems from other disciplines.
Multidisciplinary research therefore offers the possibility of opening up new areas of research, tackling complex problems and covering investment in research by opening up the use of knowledge, tools, methodology and solutions produced in one field to other disciplines.