Twenty years ago I started work on a doctorate thesis asking the question: “Why has research into new technologies for mine action had so little success?” My research discovered that about one billion dollars had been spent by the year 2000 on fundamental and applied research to produce new technologies to solve the mine problem. The resulting benefit for humanitarian mine action was indeed very small. Since then, large-scale spending has continued with limited success. Researchers and their funders have not learned from continued, expensive failure. There is clear cause and effect at work, which means that many research projects and programs have followed a similar route to failure.



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