As an SME in an industry based on tradition, fundamental principles, the ‘proven’ concept mandated by many clients, and the relentless pressure of maintaining continuity of workflow and solid financial performance – we often ask ourselves how best to invest in researching trends, new technologies and developing our very own IP to secure our market position into the future.
When is the right time? How much should we spend? What constitutes a great idea, a novel concept or something which can be commercialised in a relatively bespoke market?
How far should we develop it before we show the world and risk losing it to someone who is better placed to advance it?
All questions which have no right or wrong answer – it’s completely subject to the particular idea, product and application, the market appetite and the passion of the team behind it.
For us, as a small business, we have a ‘collaboration station’ which is nothing more than a fancy name for a table we stand around to brainstorm ideas. We have no designated R&D role, as the entire workforce is part of the R&D team – a small idea developed from an everyday aspect of what we do might just become something great.
Making the most of government assistance, finding clients with a similar passion and drive to push the boundaries has proven to be a great way for us to advance some of our ideas to date.
One of those ideas we have been developing for many years, and finally completed, is that of the integrated, watertight & buoyant folding hull sides.
Why, you might ask. Well, it provides greatly improved stability at rest, more useable space, better access (in & out of the water), superior functionality and of course it looks good (at least we think it does) and turns heads!
What R&D projects are you or your team working on?