All research is performed at the Research Lab and is required for the construction of advanced ships and defenses and the improvement of their various attributes. You can build a Research Lab on all of your planets. However, you can research only one tech at a time no matter how many labs you have unless you use a Dual Research buff which allows the researching of two techs. So build only one lab.

Research is divided into 3 categories as follows:

Core Tech Advanced Combat
Espionage Tech Combustion Drive Weapons Tech
Fleet Command Impulse Drive Shields Tech
Energy Tech Hyperspace Drive Armor Tech

Laser Tech

Hyperspace Tech Ion Tech
Fleet Repair Tech Plasma Tech

Unlocked TechnologiesEdit

At various different levels each research helps to unlock a new ship or defense technology:

Unlocked by Core Tech Research
Espionage Tech Level 2: Spy Probe
Fleet Command Level 6: Alliance Depot
Level 10: Nanite Factory
Energy Tech Level 1: Combustion Drive
Level 3: Fusion Reactor, Laser Tech
Level 5: Ion Tech
Level 6: Shields Tech
Level 8: Missile Chaser
Hyperspace Tech Level 3: Hyperspace Drive
Level 5: Dreadnought
Level 8: Destroyer
Level 10: Missile Chaser, Death Star
Unlocked by Advanced Research
Combustion Drive Level 1: Light Fighter
Level 2: Small Cargo Ship
Level 4: Recovery Vessel
Level 6: Large Cargo Ship
Impulse Drive Level 2: Heavy Fighter
Level 3: Colony Ship
Level 4: Cruiser
Level 6: Large Recovery Vessel, Bomber
Level 8: Super Freighter
Hyperspace Drive Level 4: Battleship
Level 5: Dreadnought
Level 6: Missile Chaser
Level 9: Destroyer
Level 12: Death Star
Laser Tech Level 3: Light Laser
Level 5: Ion Tech
Level 6: Heavy Laser
Level 10: Plasma Tech
Level 12: Dreadnought
Ion Tech Level 2: Cruiser
Level 4: Ion Cannon
Level 5: Plasma Tech
Level 8: Large Recovery Vessel
Level 12: Missile Chaser
Plasma Tech Level 5: Bomber
Level 7: Plasma Turret
Unlocked by Combat Research
Weapons Tech Level 3: Gauss Cannon
Level 5: Battleship
Level 10: Destroyer
Shields Tech Level 2: Small Shield
Level 3: Gauss Cannon
Level 6: Large Recovery Vessel, Large Shield
Level 8: Super Freighter
Armor Tech Level 2: Heavy Fighter
Level 6: Ion Cannon
Level 8: Super Freighter