Article by Avant Group - The Benefits of a Scientific Method for New Product Development Manufacturing

The Benefits of a Scientific Method for New Product Development Manufacturing

Posted: September 1, 2023

Modern society at large is propelled by the rigours of scientific methodology. However, the process by which discoveries are made is rarely illustrated, and even when it is, is hidden behind acronyms and jargon. To most, the notion of ‘Science’ appears as an isolated and obscure undertaking when in fact, fundamentally, the scientific method is simple, logical and applicable to all innovation. At its core, the method is a well-established process for developing new ideas, processes and products.

As a sector constantly pushing the boundaries of technological capability, it is clear that the scientific method can offer many benefits for the manufacturing industry including superior product development, risk management and workflow optimisation.

The Scientific Method in Brief

The scientific method, at its core, is a system for creating new knowledge, processes and products. Replication is essential to the scientific method and is built in via a standardised and systematic process. The process is as follows:

The problem or gap in knowledge is described in detail and understood through a review of existing technology and consultation with experts.

The research team then uses this information to predict research outcomes in a ‘hypothesis statement’. After this, the hypothesis is quantified, with potential challenges being identified.

A methodology is developed to test the hypothesis and is executed as an experiment. All significant occurrences are observed and documented, with the outcomes recorded.

Finally, evidence gathered in this process is analysed to determine whether the predictions were correct and what implications the results may have.

By operating in a controlled and procedural manner, the scientific method thus results in better product development, and generally confers substantial benefits business wide. Three key benefits are of particular note:

1. Superior Products

Background research prior to development can, and often does, result in a better market fit. This will in turn allow clearer differentiation from competitor products, generating more attractive products for customers. The systematic nature of the process also results in the clear identification of causes of failure, enabling faster, more efficient iteration and quicker launches of products for a first-mover advantage. Through detailed observation, documentation and analysis of results, the scientific method allows products to be created with high confidence, and a company to develop a reputation of excellence and reliability.

2. Business Efficiency

Background research also serves to delineate which parts of the product require new development and which can be adapted from existing solutions, minimising unnecessary action and cost. Consideration of challenges and ongoing observation enables early identification of risks and better decision making with respect to viability of projects. Numerous studies have demonstrated increased return on investment, financial performance and growth rate for firms conducting research and development, compared to those who do not.

3. Tax Incentives

Acknowledging the inherent competitive advantages of the method, the Australian Government provides the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI) to encourage the use of scientific methodologies for the benefit of the Australian economy. At its core, the R&DTI provides financial benefits to companies conducting work that seeks to develop knowledge that is new to the world. This work must be done through a systematic progression of work based on established scientific principles.

Through the R&DTI, an eligible company can access either a refundable or non-refundable tax offset of between 36.5% and 46.5%, depending on its annual turnover and corporate tax rate.

Claiming the R&D Tax Incentive is subject to stringent eligibility requirements, and although it greatly benefits companies engaged in R&D activities, it also entails rigorous compliance obligations. As such, it is important for companies looking to claim the R&DTI to engage with trusted advisors who possess not only the requisite tax and legal knowledge, but also technical and scientific expertise.

How Avant Group Can Assist

Avant Group is a leading professional services firm which marries technical expertise with tax and legal know-how.

Our specialist R&D advisors come from a range of scientific and professional backgrounds and are committed to helping businesses access grants and funding, fuelling growth and providing long-term value.

To find out more about the R&D Tax Incentive and our services, or to secure a free eligibility assessment consultation, contact us at [email protected].