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Research & Development


Research and Development of any idea, product or solution can be a costly, daunting and lengthy process; but it needn’t be.

Each situation is unique but will generally follow a logical pathway from inception to delivery. At VNF we see the process as three clear stages in a cycle, and we have core skillsets for each – Vision, Intelligence and Consulting.

VNF Process Wheel

The UK Government has been providing useful incentives for UK based Research and Development.  The great news is that the incentives for projects qualifying as R&D have been strengthened even further, and increased funding has been made available by the Chancellor in the recent budget.

Qualifying projects within mechanical engineering may include the following, solely or in combination, among many others:


  • New machine prototypes for new and/or improved functionality or innovation

  • New techniques for NDT and precision measurement

  • Integration of several/many processes into one

  • Process automation - new, improved or expanded

  • Reduction of waste and/or emissions via process or device innovation

  • New or improved products supporting green technologies or initiatives

  • Performance improvements and/or improvements with energy saving

  • Efficiencies achieved through ‘smart’ technology implementation

  • Product development, improvement, refinement and/or diversification to fulfil multiple roles


So the question is really how can we help you?


For some clients there can be rigid internal structures to follow, where a swift, free-flowing and dynamic response is required so outsourcing can be the most efficient solution. For others there can be skills or knowledge gaps, or perhaps recognition that a feasibility and/or assessment programme before securing full funding is the best approach. The honest answer is that only you really know, but discussing what you need will yield the answers. Critically...


Offering an any-point service is our key to providing the services you need, and only the ones you need.


R&D (colour) chart (vision)

Vision is the first stage – grasping your idea or product and taking it through the first critical steps to becoming a viable entity.


Many steps are resolved here; initial visualization, refinement, early engineering and design. Primary materials and likely methods of manufacture will be established leading to indicative costings and starting to shape which further stages will be required. If applicable patent information can be prepared at this stage.


Allying our extensive experience and diverse skill sets will push your product forwards. Building on an existing product or product variant, or one that has been through the Vision stage with us, we can prototype both product and production methods, research available technologies; adapt, refine or innovate for or with you.

R&D (colour) chart (intelligence)

With networked manufacture links, in-depth knowledge of a vast array of materials, and industry leading software to hand we can undertake virtual development and simulation long before any physical commitments.


Our approach can minimise risk, time and expense exposure associated with traditional development phases and one-off production settings.


Consulting within the R&D framework helps to monitor, analyse and further improve on your maturing process or product. It is a source of continual improvement and highlights every available opportunity for efficiency, profitability and sustainability.

Many years of experience with many different products and processes have endowed us with a wealth of experience and from many different stages in product lifecycles and the host of different steps and stages involved.

Working with the returning data from the initial marketing of the product or process we can develop market information into a clear and coherent strategy, then help you to deploy to maximum effect.

R&D (colour) chart (consulting)

The illustration above represents consulting within an R&D package, but our entire skillsets are of course available separately!


We can provide consulting on Tooling, production efficiencies, Design, Materials, as well as capacity to produce detailed CAD models, FEA analysis and drawings to British and international Standards. Our ISO 9001 status provides you with the confidence that our service and deliveries will to be a standard that exceeds your expectations.

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