With a research paper, the writer begins the project not knowing what the outcome or results will be. Thus, the results come from the research. The conclusion is a result of the findings.
However, with a white paper, a clear understanding of the objectives and intended results are understood from the beginning. The core messages are NOT derived from a study of a topic, rather they are clearly outlined before a writer ever starts the project.
The use of white papers is also different from research papers.
White papers are usually used to help generate business or close a sale.
Research papers are typically used to open up ideas for future exploration and might find their way into journals.