Research, by its very nature, concerns the future. Any discoveries made are likely to benefit the everyday activities of either select groups or entire populations. The range varies from medical research to products benefiting individuals, to those that transform the way industry functions.
Some research relates to entire populations.
Just this week, Steven Hawking claimed that humans may have only about 1,000 years left unless we find a way to emigrate to another planet. That's gonna take LOTS of research.