Guide

Manage your research, design and development

External research and development

If you have considered keeping your research and development (R&D) in-house, but feel you do not have the resources or desired skill set, you may choose to outsource all or some of it to outside experts.

If you're not likely to require a full-time position, you have the option of hiring either for a specific project or on a longer-term basis, perhaps on a freelance or fixed-term contract.

Hiring project managers

Project managers are responsible for making sure that a project is planned, developed, implemented, controlled, closed and the results embedded in the business. See project management - the basics.

Hiring designers

Using a professional designer will help you make better design-related decisions and focus more strongly on your customers' needs. You can draw on a designer's skills throughout a project, from strategy and idea generation to implementation and evaluation.

Designers can help you deliver a broad range of R&D including:

  • research to help you discover the difference between what customers say they want and what they really want
  • websites
  • branding
  • packaging

For more information, see how to choose and work with a designer and manage your design projects.

Working with universities and colleges

Academic research can help businesses develop new ideas or enhance existing ones. Your business can benefit commercially from relevant research into processes and technologies, while universities and colleges gain new sources of funding and researchers achieve a better understanding of industry needs.

See how to work with UK universities and colleges.

It may also be necessary to commission external expertise when your business requires information relating to the development of new technologies.