The Mission-Oriented Seismic Research Program (M-OSRP) is a research program and petroleum industry consortium, started in January 2001, at the University of Houston, to address pressing high priority seismic exploration and production problems whose solutions would have the most significant positive impact on our ability to locate and produce hydrocarbons. We begin with the critically important first step of the selection and priority of pressing problems and challenges that need to be addressed. The magnitude of the challenges being addressed within M-OSRP often requires new thinking and concept development, and is thus a fundamental research activity. The framework, method, solution and algorithms to solve the problem (and whether, in fact, the problem can be solved) are all initially unknown. Mission-oriented seismic research belongs to a category of fundamental research, directed fundamental research, that begins with high impact fundamental seismic exploration and production challenges, and commits to solving them.