If you run the game from the dev.exe (you'll have to put the mod in the dev mod folder once it's been created, same process as before, just a different folder cut/copy then paste it over) you can just give yourself all of the research items, or speed up the research when you're doing it, and put it to slow when you're not so the AIs don't tech up so quickly. (pressing A twice in the dev menu for 'quick start' gives all players everything, so don't do that one.)
It's been awhile, but I believe the in-game (development) menu is brought up by pressing shift+> and pressing the comma key backs out of it. Someone correct me if I'm remembering any of these key commands wrong.
*edit* Think of the Dev.exe as the game with a built in trainer. Lots of neat options in there. Play with it, get to know it... You can have a lot of fun with the game once you learn what the selections do.