3 examples of proven R&D value add to the start-up lifecycle

Cat Mules

A formal R&D function adds great value to any aspirational organisation.

When NASA first decided to go to the moon, its 400,000 staff had to literally invent the rocket – a turbopower spaceship to land on unknown terrain.

In today’s rapidly changing business environment, barriers to entry have been toppled. While still not every company would be able to gather the resource to rocket into outerspace, the modern market has come with a sea change of new ways to stand out amid the competition. If this sounds familiar, you’ll want to differentiate your offering with strategic value-adds. Making this possible will be your research and development (R&D) approach.

In New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment report mid last year, we were shown that even though innovation is the key driver of economic growth, innovating companies rarely track the drivers of their innovation.

Understand market or industry trends 

Market research is an effective way to support business planning. It’s about collecting information the delivers insights into stakeholders’ thinking, behaviour and expectations. It’s also about keeping an eye on the competition and monitoring market trends. Primary research methods include surveys, questionnaires, in-person interviews and focus groups. Secondary research includes social media, interactive platforms, white papers, industry and trade publications. The information will be either quantitative, predictive statistics, and qualitative, perception research. Both have value – and ideally, they’ll be used in tandem.

It’s critical to do so. R&D happens at the conception phase within the product lifecycle. Insights from R&D feed into the entire process of creating, designing and marketing new or existing products or features.

To help clarify the role of R&D, here are some New Zealand examples of value-add that have the evidence to back them up.

Three examples of proven R&D value add

  • Agricultural demands amid worldwide labour shortages are being met with transformative technology solutions from Robotics Plus’ sophisticated precision robots and automation technologies. Their Āporo apple packer innovation is underpinned by Māori heritage principles as well as key research relationships with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, the Ministry for Primary Industries and Te Puni Kōkiri.
  • In healthcare, MercyAscot’s integrated delivery approach allowed them to unlock – and act upon – patient insights. Its electronic medical record and patient administration solution was devised to bring its patient administration and clinical information platforms up to speed. Since the programme began 2018, it continues to save lives and improve health outcomes for New Zealanders.
  • Craft beer is a New Zealand hallmark with creative potential for using our natural resources with lower environmental impact – from our high-quality hops to our treasured waterways. Hāpi Research is partnering with the government, craft breweries and a hop farm, while exploring new possibilities with precision agriculture. It is fostering unique New Zealand-specific intellectual property and expertise.

Innovation is at the crux of R&D. By examining and exploring, businesses have the knowledge and context they need to move forward. It’s the expanding data analytics capabilities, with which businesses can speed up this creative discovery process. It fits in tandem with broader collaborative efforts and partnerships, as well as a future focus that is fast a necessity in the world of today.

Cat Mules

Umbrellar's Digital Journalist, coming from a background in tech reporting and research. Cat's inspired by the epic potential of tech and helping kiwi innovators share their success stories.

Business process/Robotic Automation & Power Automate

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Microsoft Power Platform combines the robust power of PowerApps, PowerBI,  and Power Automate into one powerful business application platform to achieve process automation –  providing quick and easy app building and data insights. Each component of the Microsoft Power Platform is built on the Common Data Service for Apps. Each component is dynamic by itself, but brilliant and masterful when combined. Robotic Process Automation is the technology that allows anyone today to configure computer software, or a “robot” to emulate and integrate the actions of a human interacting within digital systems to execute a business process. RPA robots utilise the user interface to capture data and manipulate applications just like humans do. They interpret, trigger responses and communicate with other systems in order to perform on a vast variety of repetitive tasks. Only substantially better: an RPA software robot never sleeps and makes zero mistakes.  

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