Forum Moderator
Turning the question around. Are you wanting to pursue a career in research in some/focused topics of someone else's choosing or to learn the skills to develop stuff of your choosing in your own time? nFor the former, a PhD or good experience will be needed to move into the role, eg extensive industrial know-how in a certain field. You then get paid to improve/invent something and the sponsor/employer takes the derived financial benefit. nFor the latter, consider project management planning to work out the steps and use your imagination. The UK is infamous for the man in a shed approach to invention. It's not efficient, is rarely profitable but those working in the field look to be having fun. Occasionally things like the clockwork radio become successful. either comment can be considered as advice, just my view based on what you've said: I'm English and have a PhD in engineering which will colours my thinking. Colleagues will have different comments based on their experience: we're scattered around the globe but generally have a Masters or PhD in engineering or science.