Are there drones whose task is the development of new technology or are all drones completely devoted to assimilating new species and their worlds?

It seems like assimilating scientists like the Hansen parents only to make garden-variety drones would be a misuse of resources which is uncharacteristic of Borg pragmatism. Yet they don't seem capable to develop tech to fend off Species 8472 without significant assistance from the Voyager crew.

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    They seem to loose the intuitive leep of of hosts which hinders responce against new threats. – Himarm Nov 4 '16 at 3:02
  • Sounds like a good question and I think that the answer is probably that the Borg can make simple, iterative syntheses of tech but that they lack the ability to make creative leaps. I can't be 100% sure though because, as much as I enjoy Star Trek and love to hate the Borg, I can't bring myself to watch "Voyager". – Hack-R Nov 4 '16 at 3:28
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    Yeah, they seem to be more about acquiring knowledge than creating it. – miltonaut Nov 4 '16 at 3:54
  • one could say that adapting is creating new technology – The Answer Nov 4 '16 at 15:28
  • @TheAnswer please explain further – 1252748 Nov 5 '16 at 17:15

Yes and no. The Borg seem to struggle with inventive thought, preferring to acquire new technology not through patient scientific experimentation, but through the assimilation of various species with pre-existing knowledge. In Voy: Scorpion, this nearly proves to be their undoing when they're unable to determine why their assimilation tech isn't working against Species 8472.

TORRES: That's right. The Borg gain knowledge through assimilation. What they can't assimilate, they can't understand.

That being said, they do appear to have the ability to combine knowledge in new and unexpected ways. We see a perfect example of the Borg equivalent of the scientific method in Voy: Omega Directive.

First assimilation

JANEWAY: I'm curious... when did the Borg discover Omega?

SEVEN OF NINE: Two hundred, twenty-nine years ago.

JANEWAY: Assimilation?

SEVEN OF NINE: Yes, of thirteen different species.

JANEWAY: Thirteen?

SEVEN OF NINE: It began with Species Two-Six-Two. They were primitive, but their oral history referred to a powerful substance which could "burn the sky." The Borg were intrigued... which led them to Species Two-Six-Three. They, too, were primitive.. and believed it was a drop of blood from their Creator.

JANEWAY: Fascinating...

SEVEN OF NINE: Irrelevant. We followed this trail of myth for many years... until finally assimilating a species with useful scientific data. We then created the molecule ourselves.

Followed by experimentation

SEVEN OF NINE: Perhaps you should do the latter. I will not help you destroy Omega. It should be harnessed.

JANEWAY: That's impossible.

SEVEN OF NINE: The Borg believe otherwise.

JANEWAY: Explain.

SEVEN OF NINE: On one occasion, we were able to create a single Omega molecule. We kept it stable for one trillionth of a nanosecond before it destabilized. We didn't have enough boronite ore left to synthesize more. But the knowledge we gained allowed us to refine our theories.

JANEWAY: And the Borg have been waiting for the chance to test them out...

SEVEN OF NINE: Yes. But we never found another source of the ore. Until now.

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    "On one occasion we were able to create...". To me, this indicates that there is Borg research, and that Torres is mis/under-informed. "What they can't assimilate, they can't understand" sounds like Starfleet propaganda anyway. – 1252748 Nov 5 '16 at 17:11
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    @1252748 - They struggle with inventive (pure creative) thought. It's one of their weaknesses – Valorum Nov 5 '16 at 17:35

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