Advancement through innovation

The recent tragic death of Australian cricketer Phillip Hughes leaves any sports fan feeling numb. We’ve also recently seen a terrible accident in Formula 1 leave Jules Bianchi with life threatening injuries. Events that both sports will now contemplate and consider what action should be taken to improve safety further.   I hope that both sports are not too quick to (over)react though – and I don’t think they will be.  Many things we do carry risk and we have to get the balance right – if we want to totally eliminate road accidents, for example, we could reduce the speed limit to a snail’s pace.  We don’t do this because there has to be a balance between safety and the need to simply get on with life.

One thing you can be certain of is that both sports will look to improved technology as a way to maintain the equilibrium – absolutely right.  In 10 years’ time I still want to watch high speed motor racing, the art of fast bowling and still be able to get from A to B in my car at a sensible speed.  If we want to see technological advancement we must continue to encourage innovation.

Thankfully valuable reliefs do exist for companies, especially SMEs, that carry out qualifying Research and Development activity – a really positive way of promoting entrepreneurialism in this country.  Long may this continue (indeed I saw in the Autumn Statement that the chancellor has increased the rate of R and D relief – good news).

One final plea though – it is no good giving with one hand and taking (too much) with the other – successful entrepreneurs may have high incomes and we shouldn’t resent them for this.  We need innovators, people with new ideas who are prepared to risk their time and capital into projects that might make the world a better place – inevitably they will want to ensure they keep the lion’s share of their endeavours.  If the incentives are not there, our entrepreneurs will not try as hard, or more likely, take their creativity elsewhere.

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