The importance of research and development and innovation in the service sector is the subject of a new book by researchers at RTI International.

Titled “Innovation in the U.S. Service Sector,” the book was co-written by Michael Gallaher and Jeffrey Petrusa of RTI along with Albert Link, a professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

"Both in the United States, as well as in other industrialized nations, the service sector is a dynamic component of economic activity and growth," said Gallaher, who is director of the RTI Technology, Energy and Environment Program and is the book’s lead author. "As pervasive and economically important as the service sector is, innovative activity in service-sector firms remains somewhat of an enigma; it is not well understood and not well defined because it differs dramatically from the traditional model of innovation in manufacturing."

The services sector accounts for some 68 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product, the authors report.