Visiting Alvin Smith was a real pleasure and an opportunity to hear first hand of the difficulties he has faced in having his Searaser assessed. He spoke of having to wait for months to have an assessment and having to stall his project as there is no prospect of retrospective funding. Alvin argues that ‘where a working prototype has been privately funded to the point where it has been operating not in test tanks but in the open sea and performed perfectly, an appointed qualified engineer should visit the project, even if on dry land to see the device and potential, so that a report can be sent to the people making decisions in the hope good ideas with great potential for the UK do not get missed'.
If you would like to look at the Searaser please look at his website.
The Conservatives have a series of policies aimed at helping Britain's technology-based businesses remain at the cutting edge of international innovation. We have pledged to keep and improve research and development tax credits, increasing their focus on hi-tech companies, small businesses and new start-ups. We are keen to develop stronger links between business and academia, so that private funding can be used to support academic research and successful innovations can be brought to market more quickly.
If we are to move to a low carbon future we need to do far more to encourage people like Alvin to succeed.