As we welcomed our first cohort of seed funded projects this month, we hear from Clwstwr Management Team members Robin Moore and Gareth Jones on what to consider as you embark on research and development (R&D).

Robin is a creative technologist and manager with over two decades of experience developing content and services for the latest digital platforms. He is currently Head of Innovation at BBC Wales, working with BBC Research & Development on trials of new experiences using technologies such as VR, AR, and spatial sound. His suggestions are:

  • Trust in the value of your own unique expertise and perspective, while being confident enough to accept expertise from others.
  • You have to learn to fail fast – aim to have an approach which tests your thinking quickly and accepts the value of failure to teach the clearest lessons. Learn lessons from your and other people’s failures and you will succeed more quickly. 
  • Try not to be conceited – in a world of billions you are not the first to have this kind of idea. Find someone who has already done something similar and learn from them.
  • Don’t get lost in the exciting newness of the technology! It is a tool. The best innovation also satisfies a new user need and creates a business or social model to sustain it. How will it make a user’s life better in the long-term?

Gareth experienced the pain and joy of founding and leading one of the UK’s largest community of entrepreneurs. He invested time and energy into every facet of the Welsh start-up scene and is an advisory member on the Prime Minister’s Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, and Cardiff Start. He is CEO of TownSq, leading the launch of new spaces across the UK. His tips are: 

  • Don’t fall in love with the idea, commit to the questions – is this something that the world needs?
  • Create a way to be able to reflect on where you’re at during the R&D process. Sometimes it’s hard to see your progress when you’re in the thick of it. 
  • Find ways to constantly get feedback from service users and potential clients and amend as you go

Expressions of Interest for the next Clwstwr Open Call will launch on Wednesday, 1 April 2020. Sign up to the Clwstwr enewsletter to be informed when the call is live.