One of the main over-all arcs this year is that a corporate shark has been appointed to make Global Dynamics "profitable". She's known for downsizing corporations so that they make more money.
And. It makes absolutely NO sense. GD has to be immensely profitable - all of the pure research it does has to create spin-offs that can be marketed (through dummy companies, of course) without seeming to be science fiction at all. Yes, the cure for the common cold is too expensive - yet - to be manufactured in large quantities - but the anti-viral research necessary for that would lead to, I don't know. Valtrex. Which I took when I had chicken pox ten years ago. There's no such thing as useless research.
In that universe, we went to the Moon in 1962, we currently have missions to Mars and we had the Bomb in 1938 - and it's thanks to Eureka.
In the latest episode, the "applied research" lab had a guy walking in, quite calmly, with his arm on fire. He eventually blew it out, revealing that his arm was covered in goo. This was the first day for this lab, which means that guy had been working on that goo before it opened. And that goo has tremendous practical implications.
It's clear that Thorne has ulterior motives, but why won't Stark or Blake say this truth.