Private corporations are concerned with immediate success. They need to show something in their next quarter report or their stocks will fall. Things like investment in future endeavors is rare, and only risked if there's a chance to gain some sort of perpetual patent. But why bother with high investments in basic research when it's far more profitable to whip up some trivial patent of something even a dumb fuck in middle management could come up with?
No, basic research, the research that actually does lead to groundbreaking results and exciting new technology is NEVER conducted by companies. Never. Remember the laser? You know, the thing that drives your DVD and BluRay drives? Think that was what the idea of Einstein when he whipped up the theoretic basis for it in 1917? Hell, even current patent laws don't allow you to milk it for a century. And no, this is NOT the suggestion that we should extend patents beyond the insanity copyright has already reached. But I ramble.
A lot, and I really mean a LOT, of theoretic and practical research was necessary, from great minds like Ladenburg, Kastler, Basov and Maiman, and still it took the last one 'til the 1960s to produce a working laser, more than four decades after the theoretic foundation.
You think any company on this planet would think in terms like this?
You think any investor would invest in something that could take half a century to produce results you can market?
Hell, it took 'til the 1980s to produce consumer grade lasers. And 'til the 1990s and even 2000s to make them cheap. Today, though, they're everywhere, from consumer electronics to cutting edge science, from micrometer distance measuring to touch-less cutting. And of course playing DVDs and BluRays.
Think we'd have any of those things if we left innovation to the market?