I am still pretty new to EVE online so please correct me if I'm wrong about these two mechanics - my understanding of material research and time efficiency is that these are values for individual blueprints which are trained up as a research process and effect the amount of materials wasted and the time taken when building an item from that blueprint. These statistics are accompanied by skills of the same names, which effect how long the research process to attain a level in either of these statistics takes.

My question is, what is the maximum level that material research and time efficiency can reach on a blueprint and what is the base time it would take without any modifiers to each that maximum level?

For bonus points, which skills in game further modify the time these processes take?

3 Answers 3


Because I apparently can't plug the Uni-Wiki enough, their page on Research explains most of what you are looking for:

Skills Required

  • Laboratory Operation I
  • Research I (5% bonus to blueprint manufacturing time research per skill level)
  • Science 1 (5% Bonus to blueprint copying speed per level)
  • Metallurgy 1 (5% Bonus to material efficiency research speed per skill level)
  • you should have Production Efficiency trained to level 5 before you even start producing.

Helpful Skills

  • Advanced Laboratory Operation (+1 lab slot per level)
  • Cybernetics 5 (allows to plug in special implants that speeds up the research process)


  • The Beancounter Hardwiring series

You can reduce this waste by researching the Material Level (ME) of the BPO. You can see the design waste on the BPO under Wastage Factor. This is always 10% (0.1) except for some rare items that have a 5% (0.05) Wastage Factor. Drones used to have a 5% wastage factor, but apparently they don't anymore. By researching the BPO we can reduce the design waste using the following formula: 1 + Base Wastage / (1 + ME level).

Using the above formula on a BPO with 10% base wastage, we can calculate our production waste (assuming PE skill at level 5) to be:

ME0 - 10% 
ME1 - 5% 
ME2 - 3.3% 
ME3 - 2.5% 
ME10 - 0.9% 
ME50 - 0.2%

As you can see, training your ME level from 0 to 10 reduces the waste from 10% to 0.91%, thus reducing the waste by over 9% in simply 10 levels, whereas training a further 40 levels (11-50) only takes off 0.7% (from 0.9% to 0.2%). The following graph can better illustrate the effect of training ME to higher levels.

A general rule of thumb used by the producers is that 30 days of research is usually sufficient.

The Productivity Level of a blueprint, as mentioned above, affects the manufacturing time for each batch made with the blueprint. Specifically, it reduces the manufacturing time by (Productivity Level) / ( (5 + 5 * Productivity Level) ) which results in the following progression:

PL 1: 1/10 reduction in time 
PL 2: 2/15 reduction 
PL 3: 3/20 reduction 
PL 4: 4/25 reduction 
PL 5: 5/30 reduction 
...and so on.

For example, suppose that manufacturing a batch of something normally takes 60 minutes to manufacture at Productivity Level 0. At Productivity Level 5, this is reduced by 5/30, or 10 minutes, thus the manufacturing time for one batch is 50 minutes. Increasing the Productivity Level of a blueprint is usually not as important as increasing the Material Level of a blueprint. It might be important in cases where the blueprint is being used to manufacture almost continuously or in cases where the manufacturing time for a single batch is extremely long.


The time varies based on the blueprint. You can use tools like this to determine how long it takes for what you're interested in: http://games.chruker.dk/eve_online/market.php?group_id=2

Usually the case is that there's "perfect" and "optimal", with perfect being mathmatically perfect, and optimal being the point where it's generally not worth it to research past that point, as decreasing returns have kicked in.

Metallurgy decreases the time it takes to research ME. Research decreases the time it takes to research PE.


The blueprint upgrades for time and production offer diminishing returns. As I recall I often didn't bother to get my material research above 30, because there is not as much saved after that point, unless one has a very resource intensive blueprint.

Material Research is hard to get done in a reasonable amount of time, so aiming low is not a bad idea. I knew a player who got everything up to 100, but he couldn't explain why he did, probably just OCD.

Material Research Formula from official Eve wiki:

mineral cost = base cost * (1 + 0.1 / (ME + 1)) * (1.25 - 0.05 * ProdEff)

Material Research is far more valuable than time efficiency, focus on that first.

  • 1
    Note on ME, some items, especially ammo and cheaper items, have very low maximal MEs. Fuel blocks, for example, max at only 40. Other items have 0 ME, as their items are so simple it literally can't improve.
    – Ken
    Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 23:42
  • @KortPleco - Good point. Commented Feb 6, 2013 at 23:42

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