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Innovation or Bust?

07 Jan 2019

IoD Scotland on Innovation

Written by Andrew Guild, Director, R3nder

Innovation breeds excellence and should be a central pillar of business.

The almost constant advancement in technology, relating to the development or prototyping of products is remarkable. Digital engineering, 3D Printing and Finite Element Analysis are amongst only a few impressive modern technologies which can enhance or accelerate the development of products. You would think with there being such a rapid advancement in technology, businesses would be provided with more opportunity to prosper but are we really grasping these opportunities with both hands?

Having worked in a business with over 45 years’ experience in commercialising and inventing its own products, we found embracing new technologies a real challenge, especially when prototyping. We have been self-funding our own innovation for decades and under such circumstances, every penny can be a prisoner.

Too many businesses move away from innovation as the focus switches to “keeping the lights on” but if this is reversed, a business can thrive.

The main issue we experienced during the product development process was the expense attached to using new processes, when attempting to integrate high-quality modern advancements in technology. Of course, you can pay next to nothing for a cheap, basic 3D Print (for example) but is that really going to improve your chances of achieving business and impressing your audience? Will this allow you to obtain the best deal for your business, when approaching consumers or investors? From experience, I can certainly tell you it won’t and using cheap prototyping can limit your opportunities. However, this experience and fascination lead us to having a keen interest in combatting the need for impressive solutions to be so expensive.

Listening to Sir Tom Hunter at the recent Scottish Edge awards, a very interesting statistic stood out – that over 90% of businesses in Scotland are SMEs. They are the future of this country and we are stemming their growth by not allowing new technologies to be more accessible. Of course, there are fantastic innovation hubs around Scotland and I would absolutely encourage more but their sole purpose is broad – and they are not necessarily equipped to provide businesses with efficiencies when developing products.

There are also other brilliant support networks, offering grant and loan funding throughout Scotland, such as; Business Gateway, Scottish Edge, Angel Investors and Scottish Enterprise, which have helped support some of Scotland’s most successful modern businesses. However, are we confident we are efficiently and effectively investing in the development of these businesses? Without doubt, modern technologies would better allow these businesses to grow quicker and improve their chances of commercial success.

I co-founded R3NDER with my business partner, Jordan Maguire, to change the landscape of Product Development and Product Commercialisation in Scotland. We are a company steeped in innovation and with a successful track record of inventing, developing and commercialising our own products and we want to share our efficiencies with other Scottish innovators. Scotland has an enviable international reputation, with a rich history of inspiring and enabling inventors like Alexander Graham Bell, John Logie Baird and James Watt - names which continue to inspire the inventors of today, who deserve the same encouragement.

Andrew is a director at R3NDER, which aspires to provide a platform for Scottish entrepreneurs to flourish, creating the inspiration of tomorrow. The R3NDER Team can help and coach Scottish innovators to squeeze more from their budget and if need be, efficiently take advantage of the amazing incentives offered by investors and organisations such as Scottish Enterprise. The mission is to prevent entrepreneurs from missing opportunities and by saving them time and money, R3NDER assists in achieving their goal of commercial success. Use today’s technology to create tomorrow’s success story.

For more information, please contact

0131 557 5488


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