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The Socio Economic Objective or SEO classification allows R&D data to be classified according to the researcher's perceived purpose (i.e. who benefits from the research). The purpose categories take account of processes, products, health, education and other social and environmental aspects of particular interest.

Classifying to an SEO category is subjective, i.e. the category is chosen by the data provider to indicate the main purpose of R&D. Classifying a business to an industry is generally derived objectively through its main income generation activity.

SEO organises those same R&D activities by their purpose or presumed sectoral beneficiaries. The systems, which show greater national variation according to a nation's profile and priorities currently, have 5 Division, 26 Category and 193 discrete Group.

Choose the SEO classification, which most appropriately describes the sector of the national economy, which will be the main beneficiary of the R&D you are practising.