Being a brilliant engineer is no longer the singular metric by which your contribution to your employer or client will be measured. Being an accomplished scientist is by itself inadequate to boost your company's earnings or market position. Even the most talented researchers can no longer engross themselves in research to the exclusion of commercialization responsibilities.
In addition to maintaining their technical skills, researchers must take concrete steps to protect their employer's intellectual property and play a constructive role in the commercialization of their inventions. You must have an appreciation for the protections that patents afford, a familiarity with the patenting process and some awareness of legal issues surrounding the licensing and assertion of patents.
You should have an understanding of how to budget for various research projects and how to go about patent triage. To add more value to your career -- and to be more valuable to your employer -- you should have a grasp of how to value your inventions.
To be a bigger asset to your firm, you should be able to articulate the business model surrounding your invention, the ability of the invention to reach the market and the inherent demand that exists for such invention.
The Certified Research Developer designation is designed to teach the scientific and engineering communities how to better focus their research on initiatives that have the greatest promise of becoming value-added commercial endeavors.