Research is the process of discovery based on the ability to utilize that information in some practical way. Well....sort of! The goal of research isn't truly the end user and there are lots of research that isn't useful today but may be useful tomorrow. However, having research of interest with the end user in mind often means you have an audience, will have a more practical solution that helps industry/society in some way, and are more likely to gain funding.
There is research and there is practical research that has immediate use because it solves some problem. Working on questions and issues that help the nation advance, industry move forward, or help people is important for relevance. It does something beyond collecting dust in an academic library.
Industry and government stakeholders are more likely to support practical research that they can lead to either advancement or profit. This make sense considering inventing new technologies and resolving medical issues seems to be high on their list of needs.
Shifts in market needs also influences research funding and focus. Where technologies and medical solutions have significant corporate support and have the best chances of funding at this time there will be growing need for additional investigation into pollution/ climate change.
The end users are the people and organizations that are most likely to use the research. Where a large pool of stakeholders have questions, researchers should fill these gaps with their investigations. When in alignment the end user is more likely to implement this research and in turn advance society. If you are a scientist/researcher you will want to work on practical problems for future funding.