Who Will Be The Jony Ive Of Healthy Product Design?

By on May 22nd, 2020 in Ideas

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2019 Apple Design Awards [Source: Apple]
Charles R. Goulding and Preeti Sulibhavi consider the visionary Jony Ive and who might next offer a compelling future for product design.

Jony Ive, the former chief product architect and designer at Apple, is famous for transforming computer and electronic product designs from bland and simply-functional, to compelling. His designs included the iMac, the iPad, and the iPhone. The world now needs a wide range of healthy design products that protect us while also being aesthetically pleasing and non-intrusive. Hence the question becomes who will become the new Jony Ive?

This new “Ive” will perhaps:

  1. Design new touchless bathroom fixtures for Kohler and Delta Faucet to minimize germ spread
  2. Design new touchless doors at Assa Abloy to minimize germ spread
  3. Design new disinfecting ultraviolet light fixtures and cleaning equipment that reduces health risks
  4. Design new seating and dividers for airplanes and large events that create increased separation for social distancing
  5. Create restaurant interiors that meet social distancing requirements but retain the ambiance
  6. Re-engineer manufacturing facilities to integrate Lean Manufacturing, Automation and Distancing process improvements

Technological advances, such as developing new and improved public health-centric products, can be supported by R&D tax credits.

The Research & Development Tax Credit

Enacted in 1981, the now permanent Federal Research and Development (R&D) Tax Credit allows a credit that typically ranges from 4%-7% of eligible spending for new and improved products and processes. Qualified research must meet the following four criteria:

  • Must be technological in nature
  • Must be a component of the taxpayer’s business
  • Must represent R&D in the experimental sense and generally includes all such costs related to the development or improvement of a product or process
  • Must eliminate uncertainty through a process of experimentation that considers one or more alternatives

Eligible costs include US employee wages, cost of supplies consumed in the R&D process, cost of pre-production testing, US contract research expenses, and certain costs associated with developing a patent.

On December 18, 2015, President Obama signed the PATH Act, making the R&D Tax Credit permanent. Beginning in 2016, the R&D credit has been used to offset Alternative Minimum Tax for companies with revenue below $50MM, and startup businesses can obtain up to $250,000 per year in cash rebates applied directly toward payroll taxes.


Healthy design is fast becoming a major new design category. 3D printing has a major role to play in this important new design sector if we want to re-open bigger and better than before.

By Charles Goulding

Charles Goulding is the Founder and President of R&D Tax Savers, a New York-based firm dedicated to providing clients with quality R&D tax credits available to them. 3D printing carries business implications for companies working in the industry, for which R&D tax credits may be applicable.