What an innovative city Bristol is! ForrestBrown attended Bristol Venturefest last week and we were bowled over by the depth and breadth of research that surrounds us in our native city.

For starters Venturefest is organised by Science City Bristol: an organisation run by University of Bristol, University of Bath and University of the West of England. Each have impressive standards of research with significant proportions being judged as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. These institutions provide a great foundation for the city and wider region.

Heavyweights in research and development

As we walked around the stands we couldn’t help but notice the big names present. Rolls Royce and HP are global heavyweights. They have major operations in Bristol and their contribution to Venturefest was fascinating. Needless to say the one-on-one sessions with representatives from their senior management were sold out.

From the gutter to the stars

Then there were the up and coming companies. The diversity of innovation they were showcasing kept us focussed all day: from iPest and their solution to remote monitoring of rodent control to Bristol Spaceplanes who, you’ve guessed it, are developing low-cost access to space.

Seeing so many companies using research and development to bring exciting products to market is one of the most rewarding aspects of the R&D industry.

Our day

Tim Prestidge of Renishaw and Tim Harper of the World Economics Forum’s Emerging Technologies Global Advisory Council gave great keynote speeches; while Dr Neil Bradshaw chaired an enlightening panel discussion on the significant benefits of using shared workspace to accelerate growth.

The Innovation Showcase was entertaining and the level of competition for the title was seriously impressive. In the end Triggertrap pipped everyone to the post with their technology for triggering cameras. Our ears are still ringing from their ScreamGrab booth!

Throughout the day we had the welcome opportunity to speak with many exhibitors representing a wide range of industries from manufacturing to software development. We were delighted to pick up a number of new clients on the day, including innovative software engineers and digital producers Bow Software

ForrestBrown’s role in a city of innovation

Bristol-based ForrestBrown helps companies claim R&D tax credits for past, present and future work. This could mean an immediate cash windfall or help in planning future strategy for your company.

Venturefest was very much about the typical ‘R&D’ companies. By that we mean the types of companies you imagine beavering away in laboratories or with computer projections. Yes: these are prime candidates for support through the tax system, but we are also in the business of raising awareness that R&D tax credits are available far beyond the obvious scientific community.

We have worked successfully with food producers, digital marketing agencies and mobile app developers among others to identify and make valid claims. We are always interested to hear from new companies who want to explore their potential for R&D tax credits – whether they are part of the Venturefest crowd or not.