Am sure I have answered this question somewhere. There different types of contribution that research can make, technology invention is one of them, but others are also about developing a theory of knowledge about the world we observe and why it is the way we see it, or why do people behave in certain ways. Sometimes research is also about challenging these theories of knowledge and figuring out alternative theories. These are not invention per see, but explanations about the world.
My research falls in this category of unpacking theories of knowledge. I was for example interested to know how researchers negotiate for research participation in households in Kilifi. We know that men often make most decisions at home but I found interesting patterns of negotiations even within the homes. This information is helping us understand how best to seek consent about research, and what to do when we encounter situations that are difficult in these homes. It is also helping us re-look at international ethics guidelines on research conduct.