DevReady PodcastDevReady Podcast – E52 – R&D, Product Design, and Innovation with George Mirabelli

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On this episode of the DevReady Podcast, Andrew and Anthony sit down with SoftLogic’s R&D Director, George Mirabelli.

George got his start designing air-traffic controller systems for the military and various governments around the world. He then started working with R&D in insurance and finance systems. He had a long career in design and software development. Recently, he’s been showing businesses how to really make the most of the R&D tax incentives from a design perspective.

“With a rebate up to 43%, [The R&D tax incentive] is designed for high innovation, like new knowledge.”

Criteria for the R&D tax incentive:

  • Australian company
  • High innovation
  • New knowledge requires experimentation and risk of failure

George really plainly puts it that with R&D, you’re investing previous profits into developing new products—so it needs to be worth it. The R&D structure of your product design needs to be fully incorporated to reap your maximum ROI. George also explains the difference between the apportionment method vs. the time sheet method.

“You want to be able to find [your R&D processes] consistently.” – George Mirabelli

Topics Covered:

  • Understanding the R&D tax incentive.
  • Knowledge that can be easily accessed is not new knowledge.
  • Core and supporting R&D activities.
  • Getting your documentation straight early on is key.
  • R&D as an integral part of the product strategy.
  • Tracking costs in core and supporting R&D.
  • Creating an R&D manual.

Key Quotes:

  • “It doesn’t matter if the experimentation is successful.” (5:45)
  • “It’s really important that people take the documentation process and embed it into the way they think about R&D, which is basically what I do.” (12:25)
  • “It’s important in software development to separate the idea of Agile development from the iterations.” (15:45)
  • “It’s just writing it down.” (17:15)
  • “R&D starts when the product is being conceptualized.” (28:30)

Resources

R&D Tax Incentive Help – Record Keeping Checklist.