Philip Hammond hints at plans for UK Economy

Philip Hammond hints at plans for UK Economy

Philip Hammond, Chancellor of the Exchequer, took the opportunity at the Mansion House speech on Tuesday to hint at his plans for the UK economy.

At a time of uncertainty within the UK and with Brexit negotiations having already started, Mr Hammond stated that the economy was the highest priority. Importantly, he stepped away from the approach of the previous Government suggesting that the economy will require higher tax revenues and public spending as we leave the EU.

Quoted from The Telegraph:

Philip Hammond has set out plans to give austerity "weary" Britain a boost as he signalled that the Government was prepared to borrow more to invest to lift growth and raise living standards.

The Chancellor said the country had been hit by "seven years of hard slog" and that the general election result, which left the Tories without a majority, showed that policymakers needed to make the "case for growth".

Mr Hammond told a City audience at Mansion House that the Conservatives would focus on "domestic weaknesses that have plagued [the UK economy]" including underinvestment, chronic skills shortages and the North-South divide.

As Brexit negotiations begin, Mr Hammond also stressed that promoting trade and remaining "open to talent" would be vital, as he restated the case for a transition period to cushion the UK's exit from the EU.

Corporation tax has recently reduced to 19%  and the future plans to go as low as 17% might yet change. We will know more in the next Budget. 

However, the emphasis on helping the economy will be welcomed by innovative businesses and all those wanting the UK to continue to be competitive.

11 Innovative Air Conditioners

11 Innovative Air Conditioners

It's hot in our office, so we went on the search for some innovations in conditioning.

Movement-Activated Air Conditioning

Engineers at MIT have come up with a new air conditioning design that utilizes sensors along aluminum rods hung from the ceiling. Movement then activates these sensors. In other words, the air conditioner only kicks on when people are present.

A motion-activated system seems like such a simple, ingenious idea that it’s almost baffling it hasn’t been tried before now. However, this kind of prototype is just one example of how future HVAC systems are going to be more compact and portable, helping to reduce both energy and utility costs.

Thermally Driven Air Conditioning

Another design that’s recently been implemented is thermally driven air conditioning. An Australian company named Chromasun has produced a low-cost alternative to traditional A/C units. It isn’t a widespread technology yet, and it will likely be several years before this kind of design becomes widely available in the United States. However, thermally driven air conditioning is a system that uses solar energy and is supplemented by natural gas, making it a highly efficient and effective system.

In fact, the double-chiller design provides more cooling capabilities than any other system so far, and it eliminates electricity costs altogether.

On-Demand Hot Water Recirculator

A U.S.-based company out of Rhode Island has designed an “on command” pump for a home’s water lines, which allows cool water to be circulated back into the water heater upon activation.

This product was engineered to be a solution to a major problem to which all of us contribute: Each year, the average home wastes 12,000 gallons of water just waiting for that water to warm up. Recirculating this otherwise-wasted water back into the system is an eco-friendly solution that’s bound to play a huge part in future homes.

Ice-Powered Air Conditioning

Air conditioners seem to be prime systems for tweaking and making better. That’s why a California-based company has created an ice-powered A/C system called the Ice Bear. The Ice Bear essentially works by freezing water in a tank overnight, so the ice can help cool a building the next day. So far, the design has been able to provide enough cooling for a building for up to six hours, after which, a conventional commercial air conditioner takes over.

Although this type of technology has quite a way to go before it can be the sole cooling system for a home, six straight hours of cooling a commercial building is a solid step in the right direction.

Sensor-Enhanced Ventilation

Each year, several products debut at technology expos all across the country, and 2015 was the year of the Ecovent. This ingenious product consists of sensor-driven vents that replace a home’s existing ceiling, wall, or floor vents. The best part? A smartphone app can control the Ecovent, providing precise, room-by-room temperature control.

Additionally, the system utilizes sensors to monitor a home’s temperature, air pressure, and other indoor air quality factors. Even though this system design is brand new, it’s been well tested and has already hit the market. Therefore, this is one piece of technology you can take advantage of today.

Dual-Fuel Heat Pumps

Another U.S.-based company has come up with the dual-fuel heat pump concept. The argument is that heat pumps tend to be more efficient and provide the maximum amount of comfort when using a combination of fuel. In this case, the system is a combination of an electric heat pump and a gas furnace.

At low temperatures, the pump draws on gas heat to maximize efficiency. When the temperature rises above 35 degrees, electricity takes over. The initial costs associated with a dual-fuel heat pump are more than a conventional system, but the amount of money you can potentially save over the next several years more than makes up for the costs.

Geothermal Heat Pumps

Along those same lines, geothermal technology is a major investment that promises to save you much money over its lifetime. Geothermal heat pumps have been around since the 1940s, so they’re not exactly a new technology. Nevertheless, these products haven’t really caught on until recently.

With more homeowners waking up to the importance of going green, geothermal heat pumps have grown in popularity. A geothermal heat pump gets its energy directly from the earth through an underground looped pipe that absorbs the heat and carries it into the home. When cooling is needed, the process occurs in reverse, with the pump removing warmth in the home. A major bonus of having a geothermal heat pump is the availability of free hot water. Therefore, if you’re considering having geothermal technology installed in your home, ask your technician about this valuable perk.

Smart Homes

Everything is getting smarter these days. From the cars we drive to the televisions we watch, just about every piece of tech you can imagine has been outfitted with smart technology. It’s only natural, then, that our homes would be next.

Connected systems and phone apps now allow us to control our home’s lighting, heating, cooling, security systems, surveillance, and entertainment at the push of a virtual button. It’s a no-brainer that these “smart” technologies will continue to evolve and become integrated into our homes, allowing us to control a home’s comfort levels down to the last detail. Since many of these innovations are already available on the market, this movement toward a smarter home has changed how HVAC engineers and designers approach the next big thing, which is good news for those of us who appreciate high-tech solutions.

Fully Automated Homes

As if owning a smart home wasn’t convenient enough, fully automated homes will soon become a reality. There are already technological solutions on the market that are allowing companies to experiment with automated appliances and other products. Therefore, it’s only natural that HVAC systems will one day be directly tied into other systems in your home, making adjustments according to the status of the rest of the house.

3-D Printed Air Conditioners

It may seem a little far-fetched, but 3-D printing has advanced rapidly over the last few years, so expecting products like 3-D printed A/C systems could very well be a reality one day.

In fact, a company called Emerging Objects has already created a 3-D printed “brick” that draws moisture out of an area to cool it. While this simple innovation can’t be used in extreme temperatures, and we’re still a far cry from 3-D printed air conditioners, it’s just one example of the power of such a simple technology. We never know what tomorrow may bring.

Harnessing Heat from a Computer

If you own a laptop and have ever used it for several hours in one setting, you know how much heat it begins to generate. One innovator named Lawrence Orsini, founder of Project Exergy, has seen how efficient computers are at generating heat. This is why he’s theorized they can be used for powering heating systems.

Consider this: How many times have you thought of how great it would be if you had to use your stationary bike or treadmill to power your television? It may not be a serious thought, but it’s something almost everyone has considered at one time or another. Harnessing heat from a product you already use every day draws upon the same principle. At the end of the day, why waste all that excess energy when you don’t have to?

This article was original published here.

How to write a good design brief

How to write a good design brief

A good design brief is vital for a project that will run smoothly, and delivers the expected outcome on time and within budget.  

A design brief should be a comprehensive, detailed document that will guide both the designer and the client through the project's development. 

It will inform the designer of exactly what is required for the project, guide the workflow from beginning to end, keeps communication clear between the client and designer, and will keep the project on schedule.

The brief should be open enough to allow the designer to be creative, but specific enough that it avoids too much scope creep. Remember to define "what" needs to be achieved rather than "how" it should be done. 

In this blog post we will discuss what should be included to create a great design brief. 

What is the product? 

First off, you need to introduce the product. Explain clearly and concisely what the product does, and what the key features are. Think of this as your "product summary". 

Objectives and goals 

This part should give the designer some context and background to the project. 

Explain the need for the product. What is the real world problem you have identified, and how does your product solve this? Are there existing solutions on the market? How is your product better than your competitors? 

Tell us what stage your product is at – is it just an idea, do you have a functioning prototype, or is it a redesign of an existing product?  

Clearly define the scope of the work required from the designer. You may only want the designers to get involved at a certain stage, or you may want a complete "research to production" project – what deliverables do you want to see at the end of the project? 

Target market 

This is where you explain who the user of the product will be, and what issues concern them in using the product.

Who will be the person that buys the product? – remember, this is not always the person who will use the product. How much is the product going to sell for? 

Also explain the context in which the product will be used. Will it be used indoors, outdoors, in the wet or in the heat? 

Technical and material requirements 

Think about your material requirements – but try not to be too specific. Instead of saying "aluminium", say that the product needs to be strong, and lightweight. You don’t want to rule out a more suitable manufacturing method by specifying materials too early on. 

Does it have any electronic components, or other technical requirements? Does it need to be dust- or water-proof? Does it need to adhere to any standards or regulations that you are aware of? 

Manufacturing requirements 

When you are at the beginning of a project, manufacturing seems like it is something that will be in the distant future, but its important for the designer to begin designing with manufacture in mind.  

The first thing to think about will be the quantities you want manufactured. Is it going to be 50 a year, or 50,000? How much do you want it to retail for?  

These factors will influence the choice of manufacturing method, and the manufacturing method will influence the design.  

Budget and timescale 

Both the designer and the client need to share a realistic understanding of what work is required to complete the project. Each project is individual, and the budget and timescale will generally depend on the complexity of the design.  

Before you start, make sure you know your budget for funding development – this will allow the designer to make better decisions on where to allocate resources, and to give an idea of the level of product development they can achieve within that budget.  

Do you have a specific launch date? If you don’t, timescales need to be agreed. Timescales should include a final deadline, but also project milestones along the way. These milestones are a good opportunity to review the project with the designer, and update the brief if necessary. 

Design brief updates

Of course, it would be nice to have all the available information in the initial design brief, but its absolutely fine to have questions – just make sure there is allocated time to research and find answers to these unknowns. 

Also remember that the brief is a live document, and as projects develop and grow, the original brief may change. It's important for the brief to be updated, so both the designer and client are on the same page in regards to project outcomes and timelines. 

A good design brief can be one of the most valuable tools for project management, so don't just write it at the start, then file it so it never sees the light of day again. Keep notes, keep updating, and keep learning from it. 

This was written by Emma Hartley our award winning Product Designer.  If you have any design questions or would be interested in finding out more about how we can support you, please get in touch.

UK General Election - party update

UK General Election - party update

The general election is upon us and today people will be going to polling stations to cast their vote. 

The manifestos of the Conservative and Labour parties both include commitments to improve R&D spending per GDP.  Investment is UK R&D spending will be vital in maintaining UK competitiveness in light of Brexit.

The UK is currently behind the European average of 2.4%.  The Conservatives aim to equal the average by 2027 with a longer term goal of 3%, but Labour aim to achieve 3% by 2030.  These commitments are welcome news.

In respect of tax, the two main parties are giving businesses and their owners two very different offers. 

On the one hand, the Conservatives intend to continue their plan to reduce corporation tax to 17% (currently 19%).  One of their reasons will be to make the UK attractive for foreign companies.

However, Labour would raise corporation tax to 26%.  This is a less attractive offer but would go some way to meeting their spending targets including government spending on R&D.

To sum up:

Labour

  • Commitment to meeting OECD R&D spending target of 3% of GDP by 2030
  • Raising Corporation Tax to 26%

Conservative

  • Commitment to meeting the OECD R&D spending target average of 2.4% of GDP by 2027 with a longer term goal of 3%
  • Lowering Corporation Tax to 17%

Design, engineering & manufacturing inspiration - May 2017

Design, engineering & manufacturing inspiration - May 2017

We've pulled together the more inspiring news stories of the past month, including competitions, inspiration and some design fails.

1 - Innovation is on the map

The University of Cambridge is searching for it's first ever Professor of Innovation.  We're looking forward to seeing what the next generation of engineers will be doing. 

Read the full story here in The Cambridge News.

2 - Steam power ahead

Steam power manufacturing

Thought steam was a thing of the past? East Kilbride-based Heliex Power, in partnership with City, University of London, was the first to discover a way of harnessing so-called “wet” steam – a relatively ubiquitous, yet frequently untapped, energy source.

Reportedly, the expander can drive machinery more efficiently and cost effectively than an electrical motor. Its second new technology, the Heliex AirComp is up to 18% more efficient than using an electrical motor, delivering potential savings in excess of £80,000 a year for a standard 100kW machine.  Well worth a watch.

Find out more in The Manufacturer.

3 - Design Fails

Juicero design

The America company Juciero became a talking point on twitter this month as it became clear that it's juicer was slower than man. Pre-sold packets of fruit can be squashed faster by hand, than by the Juciero. Which led people to question if innovation is dead in America?

Read all about it in The Guardian.

And the new indestructible £1 coin proved itself otherwise.

4 - Challenges and competitions

Plastics engineering and design

We all know that plastics and oceans don't mix, so The New Plastics Economy Innovation Prize is looking for applicants to rethink the design and materials of plastic packaging to make it more recyclable. Roughly 11 winners will be chosen across the two challenges, who will each receive up to $200,000 (£154,000) in grants to make their ideas happen.

To find out more and apply click here.

A £350k innovation challenge has been launched to find innovative UK small and medium enterprises (SMEs) whose technology can be adapted and commercialised to solve societal and industry challenges in sectors unfamiliar to the company. 

The Manufacturer has all the details.

5 - Are your children inventors?

Children inventing

Children are the future, which is why we sponsor a fantastic organisation; Kids Invent Stuff. They're currently looking for crime fighting gadgets from children that they will then build and post on youtube!

Find out more here.

 

We work with businesses across technology, heavy engineering, software, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, gas and nuclear to support them to bring their ideas to life and profit from product design. 

We have brought together a diverse team who can help you finance your project with our Research and Development Tax Credit team, and bring those ideas to life with our product designers and engineers.

If you have an idea or a project that you think we could support you with please get in touch.

 

What is design thinking?

What is design thinking?

As R&D tax and innovation experts, we specialise in Design Thinking, and we're are often asked what Design Thinking actually is?

The short answer is that it is a user-centric, creative and repeatable process for solving problems, but in all honesty, this short answer doesn't really do it justice. 

We all know that problem-solving is an inherent part of business, however what many don't realise is that whilst problems can be a source of frustration, be they small hurdles or colossal obstructions, they also provide critical insight and stimulus into your business and inform the innovation process as a whole.

In fact, the businesses that truly prosper are those that use problems to uncover opportunities and arrive at agile, intelligent and creative solutions.

This is where Design Thinking emerges as a powerful process...

Design Thinking is a series of steps that forces you to dig deeper, define and refine, ask the difficult questions, and go beyond the obvious to understand the real challenge to be solved. 

It is an approach that always puts the user at the centre, encouraging you to immerse yourself in their experience, getting right into the nitty gritty of their perspective to ensure that your ultimate solution adds value to the end user, because if it doesn't, your solution is just not going to triumph. 

This 'triumph' is the most important and celebrated element of Design Thinking.

Sometimes Design Thinking is mistaken as primarily a brainstorming or creativity tool but it is actually a holistic process in which every stage crucially takes you closer to reaching the end goal.

In fact, we would go so far as to say that if you're skipping a stage, then you're not practising Design Thinking, and the end goal won't be reached as quickly, efficiently or successfully, if at all. 

Design Thinking is all about creating value and impact, and when employed properly it achieves amazing results.  

That's why Design Thinking is no longer a process only used by designers looking for an assured way of developing products that people actually want and need. Today, all types and functions of business from admin to marketing to HR and finance have begun employing Design Thinking as the go-to process for successful problem solving, innovation and driving a brand or business forward.

Are you one of them? 

Interested in finding out more about how we could use the principles of design thinking for your product or software design? Our team of experts are all waiting to get to the route of your problems!

Minimising R&D claim risk – how we work with your accountant

Minimising R&D claim risk – how we work with your accountant

Regardless of the value of your tax relief claim, there is a small risk that HMRC might enquire into the tax return. 

However, by working closely with accountants and planning the practicalities of submitting the claim, this risk can be minimised.  

One key factor is to ensure that HMRC receive the figures and technical report together. 

We have only seen cases of enquiries into R&D tax relief claims when HMRC have received a tax return claiming R&D without the technical report to back up the figures.  Naturally, HMRC might want to know the credibility behind the figures on the return before agreeing to pay out a hefty tax credit.

Amending returns

One of the easiest and hassle-free ways in which to submit your claim is for us to provide amendments to the corporation tax returns already submitted to HMRC.  This is done directly with the R&D specialist team at HMRC under your authority which makes us your ‘R&D tax agent’. 

Where R&D tax relief claims have not been done by your company previously, we are usually looking at a return or returns that have already been submitted.  In those cases, we include amended tax returns and computations with our technical report so that they are received by HMRC simultaneously.

Where this is agreed with accountants we can continue to work in this way with subsequent claims. However, we appreciate this is not does not work for everyone and we always want to work with your accountant, not against them.

Working together

In some cases, your accountant may want to preserve the responsibility of submitting the claim.  Alternatively, if a corporation tax payment deadline is looming it would make sense that they submit a return with the claim inclusive figures.

In this instance, we can provide a supporting pack to accountants which explains the basis of the R&D figures being claimed and how it should be reported to HMRC.  These usually include advice for the return to be submitted on an estimated basis or a disclosure explaining that a supporting technical report is to follow.

Working with accountants to take these precautions will help to avoid unnecessary additional scrutiny before the supporting technical report is submitted. 

In either case, a good working relationship and understanding with your accountant is of paramount important and we will always want to discuss the best way of working for everyone.

Would you like to find out more about our R&D Tax Credits services? We'd love to hear from you.  Click the link for a free consultation.  We have 100% success rate on our tax credit claims, so it's well worth talking to us to see if you're eligible.

R&D tax relief: General Election, Brexit & The Industrial Strategy

R&D tax relief: General Election, Brexit & The Industrial Strategy

The general election on 8th June 2017 is fast approaching.  Regardless of the result, it will be in the future government’s interest to incentivise UK business as we leave the EU.   

The Industrial Strategy Green Paper released in January of this year, highlights the importance placed upon R&D in making the UK competitive. 

The UK is currently behind many of its rival EU member states in its R&D expenditure, being only 1.7% of GDP compared to the EU average of 2%.  The same measure places the UK behind France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Finland.  

Greg Clarke, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy recognised that the UK is excellent at research but falls behind in converting this to new business opportunities. One of the tools available to the government to improve this is the provision of tax incentives for businesses.

The call for a snap general election will prompt renewed focus on the UK’s competitiveness and the prospective government’s plans to improve this, building on the Industrial Strategy Green Paper.  These will range from directly supporting businesses and R&D to tax plans and as expected tax is already one of the election’s hot topics.

The election has also meant that elements of the anticipated Finance Bill have been dropped to get it through parliament before the election. Provisions for Making Tax Digital for Businesses was one of these victims.  Its arrival into legislation has been stalled and the roll out may also be pushed back accordingly. 

Previous plans set out under then Chancellor George Osborne for reducing corporation tax and other incentives for businesses may also change depending on the result of the election. 

The future government may have a different response to Brexit in the coming years.  If corporation tax remained at 19% or even increased, rewarding innovative businesses through the R&D scheme will become even more important to stay on track with the Industry Strategy Green Paper.

The previous Budget gave a brief comment on the R&D tax relief scheme: it was internationally competitive, effective and needed more advertising, but that the RDEC scheme for Large Enterprises (LEs) could be improved to make it easier for businesses.  Indeed, the R&D Consultative Committee has been discussing this simplification.  

The political parties have not yet published manifestoes, but we would expect to see a focus on boosting UK R&D and businesses in response to Brexit. 

Whether they then pledge to go further than the previous plans will remain to be seen.  

Specifically, we would like to see commitments to increase the rate of relief for both the SME and RDEC schemes to incentive and support UK innovative businesses.

We're pleased to see that Greg Clarke has announced the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, committing over £1 billion over the next 4 years, which can only increase research and innovation in the UK.

If you're interested in finding out whether your business is eligible for Research and Development Tax Credit book a free consultation.

You can read the Industrial Strategy Green Paper here.

G2 pick of the best innovations in April 2017

G2 pick of the best innovations in April 2017

We’ve scoured the internet for you to find the most innovation designs this month to inspire and excite you!

Here’s our top 5

5 Tesla for Homes

A technology-driven home-building company in California says it is "doing for homes what Tesla is doing for the car".  

By using digital tools to streamline the design and construction process, Cover's ultimate goal is to "make living in a thoughtfully designed and well-built home a reality for everyone".

"We're doing for homes what Tesla is doing for the car – using technology to optimise every step of the process, from design and sales, to permitting and manufacturing," 

Read the full story here at Dezeen

4 Breakthrough Brain–Computer Interface Technologies

For the last decade, APL has led the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Revolutionizing Prosthetics (RP) Program, and in the process created the most advanced neurally controlled prosthetic limb in the world.

Using this technology, patients whose bodies are paralyzed have been able to feed themselves, reached out to loved ones and even control a flight simulator.

A new project in Facebook’s Building 8, focuses on developing a silent speech interface that will allow users to type 100 words per minute — five times faster than typing on a smartphone — using only their thoughts.

Read more about this story at NewsWise

3 – Remotely monitoring patients with rare diseases

The London-based startup Aparito is developing wearable technologies and mobile apps to remove some of this discomfort experienced by patients, with a special focus on people living with a rare disease. 

Their watch collects relevant data from the wearer, and sends the information to a smartphone via Bluetooth. The information is uploaded to the cloud so clinicians can analyze and monitor the patient’s progress. 

The app can also be updated with patient-added data, such as dosage change or symptoms like seizures, reducing human error when patients are asked when or what triggered a specific symptom, or what day they forgot their medication.

Read more about this at Minds of Malady
 

2 - Design for the ear not the eye—throw away what we know about design today & start fresh

Every few years, a big shift in how we interact with computers arrives. In the 1970s we swapped out punch cards for terminals, and then moved on to using a mouse and desktop icons in the 1980s. Today, touch screens and mobile devices are the face of computing.

But in the near future, voice technology and artificial intelligence will bring about another huge change, says Paul Cutsinger, who is head of voice design education for Amazon's home assistant, Alexa.

Find out more in Fortune.

1 G2 Designer wins Innovation Award

We couldn’t end this month’s innovative design collection without mentioning our very own designer Emma Hartley, who we give our coveted first place to.

Emma won first place in the Nottingham University Ingenuity17 competition and the Engineering in Business award amongst many others earlier in April.

Emma’s redesign of the defibrillator makes the lifesaving device more portable and simple to use, so those without formal training would be able to access it in remote locations should an emergency arise. 

The next step for Emma is product development.  We’re proud at G2 Innovation to support Emma to bring this to market, both through giving her time to develop and the use of our resources.  We’re proud to be part of developing a product with Emma that will ultimately save lives.

To read the full story click here.

And finally, we’re pleased to see that innovation has finally been put on the map.  In amongst the blogs and news articles about how innovation is an overused word like passion and bespoke, we’re pleased to see that the University of Cambridge is looking for first professor of innovation.

We work with businesses across technology, heavy engineering, software, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, gas and nuclear to support them to bring their ideas to life and profit from product design. 

We have brought together a diverse team who can help you finance your project with our Research and Development Tax Credit team, and bring those ideas to life with our product designers and engineers.

If you have an idea or a project that you think we could support you with please get in touch.

 

 

Award winning Emma Hartley Ignites the Mind

Award winning Emma Hartley Ignites the Mind

Emma Hartley, Product Designer here at G2 Innovation, wowed us all this April when she scooped the top prize at University of Nottingham’s Ingenuity17 – a competition that saw over 600 entrants from University of Nottingham’s campuses here in Nottingham, Malaysia and Ningbo China.

Ingenuity17 asked entrants to Ignite The Mind with their innovative business ideas.  And we’re so proud that Emma, who studied at Nottingham University took home the 1st prize of £5,000 as well as winning the People’s Choice Award, 1st prize from Engineers in Business and prizes from Potter Clarkson, Shakespeare Martineau and BDO bringing the total to just over £20,000 in prizes.

Emma’s idea was the creation and design of Pulse AED a new automated external defibrillator

Inspired after one of her friends passed away after suffering a cardiac arrest at just 21, Emma wanted to see how she could use her skills to make a difference to others.

Defibrillators are now a common sight in village phone boxes across the country.  But Emma realised there might be a problem, when one was installed in the phone box next to the pub where she worked.  Locals kept asking what the ‘first aid box’ was in the phone box.

Emma wanted to make defibrillators more recognisable, and made this the focus on her final project on her Project Design and Manufacture degree at University of Nottingham.  But as her project started she realised there were more pressing difficulties with defibrillators.  It’s not just that they are hard to spot, they are not easy to use either.

Emma Hartley G2 Innovation

Working alongside several academics at the University of Nottingham, she discovered that real world effectiveness of defibrillators was limited.  Time is critical – if used within the first 5 minutes survival is boosted from 6% to 74%, so having them easily accessible is crucial.  In the UK there are over 60,000 cardiac arrests a year outside of hospital. But even when they are available, people need training and even when trained, over 50% of users deliver an ineffective shock.  Add to this the price point of around £1200, current defibrillators are expensive and are difficult to use.

Emma’s Pulse AED will be intuitive to use, taking pressure off the user.  Cardiac arrest is not the sanitised vision we see on our TVs, people are often grey, sweating and gasping for breath and having to use a defibrillator is stressful.  Emma has created something that can be used by anyone without any training.  The Pulse AED will also be sold at a much lower price point, at around £100, meaning that they can be more widely available.

It’s absolutely amazing. Being a part of and winning Ingenuity17 means that I can start developing the product and the electronics inside of it; and get market ready.  The Conference is invaluable as the connections you make with mentors and business is brilliant
— Emma Hartley, Product Designer and Pulse AED Director

It's shocking that only 9% of the engineering workforce is female. And only 6% of registered engineers and technicians are women. The UK has the lowest percentage of female engineering professionals in Europe, at less than 10%, while Latvia, Bulgaria and Cyprus lead with nearly 30%.  Which makes Emma's 1st prize from Engineers in Business even more important and us even more proud that over 50% of our team are women.

The next step for Emma is product development.  We’re proud at G2 Innovation to support Emma to bring this to market, both through giving her time to develop and the use of our resources.  We’re proud to be part of developing a product with Emma that will ultimately save lives.

Congratulations Emma!

Emma Hartley Pulse AED Director

Emma got some celebrity status following her awards. She was featured in The Nottingham Evening Post, The Creative Quarter and Made in the Midlands.

The autumn statement

The autumn statement

On Wednesday this week Philip Hammond will be announcing his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor.  It will also be Teresa May’s first as Prime Minister for the post-referendum government. 

 

Brexit and the world economy will no doubt be looming large in their minds.  It is expected that his predecessor’s forecasts for creating a surplus of more than £10 billion by 2020 will be revised down to a deficit.  If so, increasing revenue will surely be top of the agenda for Hammond. 

 

At the same time, the Government will be seeking to incentivise businesses to invest in the UK economy.  It had already been indicated that he is not going to be using the previous plan of reducing the Corporation Tax rate to 15% in response to Brexit, but instead to continue with the reduction to 17% by 2020.  May has reaffirmed the direction of the corporation tax rate, but we will see if the schedule for this changes.

 

However, May’s recent announcement has gone further:

 

"We will also review the support we give innovative firms through the tax system... because my aim is not simply for the UK to have the lowest corporate tax rate in the G20, but also one that is profoundly pro-innovation."

 

With these comments coming just days before the Autumn Statement, we expect the R&D tax reliefs to be a focal point, by which the Government aims to incentivise UK businesses to remain competitive.  One option will be to see the scheme extended either by the rates of relief increasing or the qualifying expenditure being updated.  It is also possible that a new relief will be introduced altogether.

 

Moreover, the Government are expected to pledge £2billion a year in funding for scientific R&D by 2020.  Whether there will be further fund or how these funds will be raised – when the corporation tax rate is set to be reduced –  is yet to been seen, but the announcement will slightly placate fears of an R&D funding gap following Brexit.  However, the EU previously provided £9billion a year, so there will remain a significant shortfall.

 

Clive Cookson writing for the Financial Times last week pointed out that the UK’s total R&D spending is only 1.67% of GDP, compared to the EU average of 2.03%.  The same measure places the UK behind France, Germany, Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Finland, which will provide a definitive prompt to the government that the UK must improve its R&D investment.

 

Where the direct funding for R&D is to be less than previously provided, we expect the Government to use R&D tax reliefs to bolster UK businesses’ R&D own investment to maintain the UK’s competitiveness.

 

The Autumn Statement is scheduled for 23rd November 2016.  Follow us on Twitter for relevant R&D and SME associated updates.