Research and Development
Research and Development is a planned feature for SWC. Currently it is not being actively developed, however there is a large entity list already drawn up in preparation. From what is known, R&D will follow a Tech Tree progression system, and you will need to have access to a Datacard in order to research other entities up and down the tree. You will be able to see several steps both up and down the Tech Tree from the datacards you have access to, but you will not be able to see beyond this.
You will presumably require an R&D station or Research Lab facility in order to perform R&D, and there is a possiblity that you will require some Raw Materials in order to start/finish a project.