Marketing No Comments

South East businesses claim £1.3bn for innovation with R&D tax credits

South East businesses claimed the second-highest number of research and development (R&D) tax credits than any other region for the 19/20 financial year, according to HMRC’s R&D tax relief report, which was released on 30 September 2021.

London claimed the first spot.

£1.3bn was received by South East registered businesses, with a total of 12,740 claims, a number that will continue to grow as 19/20 years remain open for claims until March 2022. The average claim amount was £104,000.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

The report shows a 20% increase in the total amount claimed by South East businesses, with a 17% increase in the number of claims, from tax year 18/19 to 19/20.

According to the report, the sectors where the highest number of R&D claims across the UK were made are Information and Communication (22%), Manufacturing (22%) and Professional, Scientific and Technical (19%) sectors, accounting for 20%, 25% and 24% of the total amount claimed, respectively.

Leslie Maloney said: “The uplift in the number of R&D tax relief claims in the South East represents an increasing awareness of HMRC’s tax relief scheme and increasing innovation within the region, which is wonderful to see.

“The key take-aways from this year’s R&D tax credit report is the two growth areas in Professional, Scientific and Technical and Information and Communication, both of which saw significant expansion in number of claims made in 2019-20.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

“I personally believe this report shows opportunity for real growth for innovative businesses in the South East, particularly in those high growth sectors and a shift towards the new economy. The more traditional sectors like Manufacturing and Construction have been claiming R&D for many years and we expect this to continue but for Professional, Scientific and Technical and Information and Communication to be the main drivers of growth in helping the country to recover economically. This will be reflected in 2022’s report.”

The average claim value across the UK is sitting at approximately £57,000. There has however been an increase in the number of claims made from last year, from 74,200 to 85,900 and this figure will certainly increase.

R&D tax credits are a HMRC incentive to encourage UK businesses to continue to grow by innovating. The incentive being a reduction in corporation tax or a cash payment.

Story by Barney Cotton

Source: Business Leader

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

Software firm secures Innovate UK funding

A Belfast-based compliance software firm has secured funding from Innovate UK which will lead to creation of jobs in the coming months.

Obbi Solutions, which has been awarded £300,000, is a software platform for integrated compliance of people, processes and safety through HR, operations and health and safety teams.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

It enables firms to connect paper or manual processes into an automated workflow to save time, money and mitigate risk.

Founding director Gareth Macklin said: “We are extremely honoured that we have been awarded the funding of £300,000 from Innovate UK.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

“Securing this funding now enables us to accelerate our growth plans quicker than we have ever imagined. Our software development team will now be expanding, along with our sales and customer support teams.

“With concrete plans of growth with our solution, alongside expanding our team, this is an extremely exciting time for the entire Obbi team. We believe Northern Ireland has some of the finest talent out there, which is why we are exceptionally proud to be able to offer additional roles within Obbi.”

By Adam Beech

Source: Insider Media

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

UK innovation relies on connections between business and academia

Dr Joe Marshall, chief executive of the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), argues that while the UK government’s new Innovation Strategy is a good start, the key to growth is enabling powerful connections between the worlds of business and academia

The new Innovation Strategy is a welcome sign that the government realises the importance of cementing the UK’s position as a world leader in science, research and innovation.

Although the 113-page document sets out a clear vision focused on innovation missions and seven strategic technologies – including robotics, genomics and AI – a strategy alone is not enough.

It is critical that the strategy is now backed with a drive to simplify and encourage innovation – making it easier for businesses to ‘do’ innovation in the real world.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

The power of collaboration

As the country comes out of the pandemic vigorously seeking new sources for economic growth, it is more important than ever that policymakers, businesses and universities work together to build the foundations for a more prosperous future.

The pandemic has been tough on everyone, but it has shown us what can be achieved through public-private collaboration, particularly with the vaccine development.

To hit the ambitious target of spending 2.4% of GDP on R&D by 2027, companies are going to need to invest an additional £17.4bn in research, compared to 2017 levels. In order to attract this private investment, we need to find the best researchers and ideas.

This brings me to one of the main barriers to innovation: an inability to make the right connections.

It is not so much understanding the need to innovate, but rather how companies find the most suitable R&D partners, and how researchers find the best companies to turn their expertise into a viable product or service.

It is not simply a question of publishing strategies and setting targets, welcome though those are, but more a case of simplifying how businesses and researchers navigate their way through the innovation ecosystem to find each other.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Finding the right partners

At the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB), we know from speaking to companies of all sizes that they see the research conducted at the UK’s world-leading universities as a major driver for their own innovation efforts.

Many businesses know they need to invest in R&D, and they also know the key could well lie within academic research teams – but the system needs to be simplified so they can get a clearer understanding of how to find out which researchers they should be talking to.

That’s why it was encouraging to see a mention of the NCUB’s collaboration brokerage tool, Konfer, in the Innovation Strategy – specifically in the section aligned with a call for new ideas, talent, and funding.

This was apt because the UK is awash with ideas and talent and funding. What it needs is a way to bring the elements together.

The Konfer network comprises more than 144,000 academics from 153 universities with a searchable database offering access to 1.4m research publications and projects.

The breadth and depth of the data is put to good use through targeted software that links businesses with relevant researchers and facilities, democratising opportunities to connect to those who do not have access to the right networks.

A simpler innovation pathway

Of course, this mainly works for those companies that are already ‘sold’ on the need to innovate and are actively seeking new collaborations.

To truly grow the UK’s R&D expertise and boost innovation, we also need to be taking the conversation to those businesses that are unaware of the opportunities of collaborating with university research teams.

To ensure these newcomers aren’t put off by jargon and complexity, we need to simplify the landscape and use technology to encourage businesses and researchers to collaborate.

Quite simply, we need an infrastructure dedicated to enabling connections.

The Innovation Strategy is an encouraging start, but a strategy is never the final word. We need a route as well as a destination point, and the aim must be to make innovation simpler.

Source: Open Access Government

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

UK vows ‘world-leading’ post-Brexit research and development plan

A new post-Brexit innovation strategy will help British businesses seize “vast opportunities,” Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng vowed Thursday. The U.K. government’s newly-launched proposal is aimed at boosting private sector investment in the U.K.’s research and development (R&D) sector.

Public spending on R&D was already due to rise to an annual £22 billion under plans unveiled in the spring, but Kwarteng is promising new, regular “innovation missions” to focus business and government attention on issues facing the U.K. These will be determined by the U.K.’s National Science and Technology Council.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

The strategy is said to be partly modeled on the U.K.’s successful COVID-19 Vaccine Taskforce, which saw the state and private sector work together on a project chaired by a venture capitalist, but funded mostly by public money.

The new strategy identifies seven R&D areas where the government believes the U.K. already has strengths, including robotics, genomics and artificial intelligence. Kwarteng said he wanted the strategy to focus on these and “rekindle our country’s flame of innovation and discovery.”

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

“If we get this right, we can build the foundations for the new industries of tomorrow, and ensure British firms are at the front of the pack to turn world-leading science into new products and services that are successful in international markets,” he said.

Five research projects have also been allocated funding by UK Research and Innovation — the public body that directs research and innovation funding. That will see firms in Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England’s North and Midlands given a share of £127 million.

BY ANDREW MCDONALD

Source: Politico

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

RECOUP win Innovate UK funding for plastics recycling communications research

Charity, and leading plastics recycling organisation, RECOUP, have secured a grant from Innovate UK, the UK’s innovation agency, to co-fund an industry led communications and behaviour change research project in Kent.
RECOUP have brought together key industry partners, Kent Resource Partnership, Veolia, Viridor, Ocado, Ecosurety, British Plastics Federation, Plastics Europe and PPS Recovery Systems to deliver this groundbreaking piece of research aimed at understanding better the connection between communications and plastics recycling.

RECOUP’s Pledge2Recycle Plastics citizen facing brand will connect with the 673,00 households across Kent over a 12-month period, to gain citizen insights, deliver plastics recycling messages and evaluate the resulting tonnage and contamination data. The project is the first of its kind to both deliver and measure, (over an extended period) the impact recycling communications campaigns have on behaviour change.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

It is expected that the insights collected will provide evidence to support future plastics recycling engagement strategies.

Anne Hitch, Head of Citizen & Stakeholder Strategy at RECOUP and Pledge2Recycle Plastics project lead, commented, “this project represents a fantastic opportunity for the plastics industry opportunity to better understand better how we can reach 2025 recycling targets.

The aim of this project is to engage with Kent residents to understand if there is any confusion when it comes to plastics recycling and how we can encourage citizens to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics.

The citizens of Kent have an opportunity to help formulate future policy and provide the UK with a blueprint demonstrating the links between plastics recycling communications and behaviour change.”

The project will connect with over 1.5 million citizens in a ‘controlled structured’ way, RECOUP says.

The advice on plastics recycling has been pre-agreed with all Kent Councils, Veolia and Viridor to provide a consistent message with resources based on previous piloted Pledge2Recycle Plastics ‘Cutting the Confusion’ campaigns and resource pack aligned with WRAP and Recycle Now.

The project will provide understanding on how plastics recycling targets can be met with clear and the linkages between communications investment and recycling growth.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Cllr Nick Kenton, Chairman of the Kent Resource Partnership said: “The 13 Kent councils are very pleased to be working alongside RECOUP and other partners to deliver this Kent-wide plastics recycling campaign.

“The aim of this project is to engage with Kent residents to understand if there is any confusion when it comes to plastics recycling and how we can encourage citizens to reduce, reuse and recycle plastics. We look forward to seeing which interventions help with the quality and quantity of plastic recycling here in Kent.”

Viridor’s Sustainability Director, Tim Rotheray, said: “Viridor knows that most people are committed to doing the right thing and recycling more. As a company which recycles and reprocesses plastic, Viridor is pleased to be part of an initiative that seeks to engage with residents and understand any confusion or barriers which exist.

“Following up on this research is the key ensuring residents are armed with the knowledge and the confidence they need. Above all, we want them to understand that their efforts to separate and retain valuable recycling really does make a difference, underpinning the circular economy which is the UK ambition.”

Source: Circular

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

New grants announced to innovate horticultural food and drink industry

Growing Kent & Medway has announced £3million in R&D grants for projects that support inclusive economic growth and environmentally sustainable practices and innovations.

Funding grants of up to £250,000 will be made available to assist projects that aim to develop green technologies, processes or products for horticultural food and drink businesses across Kent and Medway.

A unique requirement of the funding application will be an expectation that businesses commit to delivering social value back to the region. Whether through community engagement or by raising awareness around career pathways in horticulture, food production or AgriFood technologies.

The grants were announced as part of Growing Kent & Medway’s official launch at Fruit Focus on Wednesday 21 July 2021. They offer businesses operating in food production, packaging, processing or enabling AgriFood technologies the first opportunity to benefit directly from the program.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

Dr Nicola Harrison, Program Director for Growing Kent & Medway, said: “The large-scale collaborative R&D grants we are making available will be awarded to projects that will help to establish the Kent and Medway area as a world-leader in climate-smart, sustainable horticultural food and drink production.

“These grants are an important part of our wider program to build on the region’s reputation and international gateway status. We are investing in state-of-the-art infrastructure and research facilities, scientific expertise and enterprise growth to make this region one of the most dynamic, competitive and successful horticultural and agri-tech locations in the world.”

Priority innovation themes set out for the grant funding include;

  • Minimising waste and maximising recycling
  • Improving resource use efficiency and sustainability
  • Increasing productivity
  • Resilient food production, such as supply chain resilience and nutritional security
  • Precision technologies, including sensor technologies, AI or robotics
  • Solving the challenge of access to labour.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Oliver Doubleday, Chair of East Malling Trust, said: “Funding for research and innovation to support the horticultural industry has been at the heart of the Trust’s work for more than a century.

“Thanks to Growing Kent & Medway’s grant scheme, it will ensure the sector can make an even greater contribution to the development and sustainability of the local economy through the commercial application of science and research.”

Applications open from 6 September 2021 and must be a Kent or Medway-based businesses, or carrying out significant economic activity in the region, working in the horticultural food and drink sector or enabling technologies.

Source: Horti Daily

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

Science schools and R&D spending at forefront of UK innovation plans

UK ministers are drawing up plans for new science-focused schools, billions of pounds in research and development spending and better access to private funding for tech-focused companies, as part of an innovation strategy to be launched next month.

Business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng wants to make innovation one of the central pillars of the government’s industrial strategy, as the UK seeks to develop world-leading technology and life science sectors.

Officials at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have drawn up a 10-point plan to make the UK a “global leader in innovation”, according to people familiar with the document, which will be unveiled alongside a “science superpower” speech planned by the prime minister before the summer holidays.

Earlier proposals to create a position within BEIS for an “innovator in residence” — a guru who could disrupt Whitehall thinking and advise officials — have been dropped from the latest version of the document, according to people familiar with the matter.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

It will instead outline plans for the government to build schools focused on science, technology, engineering and maths, as well as setting up a scheme that will allow departments to create competitions in which innovative businesses compete to win funds.

Much of the new strategy focuses on improving regulatory and financial support for private companies to allow UK-based businesses to develop and scale up technologies across a range of areas, in line with a recent report by a deregulation task force led by former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith.

The document identifies seven “families” of innovation that will take priority in the UK, including quantum, advanced materials, life sciences, genomics, robotics and artificial intelligence.

Plans include helping with business investment and improving access to finance, including looking at rules that have prevented large institutions from investing in fast-growing but risky ventures.

The paper also says that the UK will need to develop pro-innovation policies and cut red tape that is holding back development in some sectors. The strategy will confirm plans to increase annual state investment in R&D to £22bn.

The government has already flagged its intention to invest in high-risk, high-reward science projects through its new Advanced Research and Invention Agency.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Aria was originally a project of Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s former chief adviser.

Officials also want the UK to attract talented overseas workers with new “innovation” visas, as well as help companies forge partnerships overseas. The plans include setting out innovation chapters in future trade agreements and a “refresh” of the UK’s export strategy.

The plan contains high-level aspirations around developing world-class universities and research institutes.

One person familiar with the document said it would set out objectives that would feed into policymaking in specific sectors.

The person added that the plans were still in draft form and could change before the announcement next month. The innovation paper will sit alongside Kwarteng’s other plans, including a forthcoming net zero emissions strategy.

A government spokesperson said: “We do not comment on individual leaks, but it is no secret that we intend for the UK to stand as a world-leading centre for the development of brilliant ideas, innovation in industry and jobs for the future.”

Source: Telegraf

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

Potential impacts to your R&D tax claim

The 2021 budget announcement limits the size of some R&D tax cash benefits, but will it impact your claim?

The R&D tax credit scheme rewards companies for facing challenges and uncertainties by developing new processes or methodologies or improving on existing ones (technological advancements). All while using a systematic approach.

In the construction industry, the general activity of most companies will not be driven by technological advancements instead, they are generally driven by a client-led goal e.g. renovating a listed building. The way the construction industry advances, especially within the SME market, is through the challenges it faces. 

On Wednesday 3rd March, Rishi Sunak made possibly one of the most important modern budget announcements, outlining the plan to get our economy back on-track and providing us with insight regarding: the increase in corporation tax, the impact this will have on research & development expenditure credit (RDEC) and SMEs, the super deduction and, finally, the R&D tax review.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

Corporation tax

The rate of corporation tax will increase to 25% from April 2023, a 6% increase from the current rate of 19%. The increase is expected to raise £22bn in revenues per year whilst keeping the UK’s rate of corporation tax as the lowest in the G7.

The smallest companies will not be affected as a small profits rate will be introduced for businesses with less than £50,000 profit. These businesses, which is estimated to account for 70% of actively trading companies, will continue to pay corporation tax at the current rate of 19%. A tapered rate will also be introduced for profits of over £50,000 so that only businesses with profits above £250,000 will be taxed at the full rate of 25%.

Super-deduction

For a two-year period from 1st April 2021 until 31st March 2023 businesses will be able to claim the super-deduction on their investment in qualifying plant and machinery. This will allow companies to deduct 130% of what they invest from their taxable profits in the form of a capital allowance. This equates to a saving of 25p for every £1 invested in plant and machinery.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

The aim is to encourage businesses to invest. Levels of business investment in the UK, already low in comparison with the UK’s peers, have fallen sharply during the pandemic with a reduction of 11.6% between Q3 2019 and Q3 2020. The super-deduction aims to give companies the incentive and the confidence to invest in their business and ultimately promote economic growth.

R&D tax consultation

The government will be running a review of the R&D tax relief scheme which plays a vital part in promoting innovation and stimulating growth in the UK economy. The government has set a target or raising total investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. The consultation, therefore, aims to ensure that the current R&D tax relief schemes in the UK are still fit for purpose.

The consultation will seek the views of stakeholders on the R&D tax relief schemes currently in operation and will focus on:

  • Definitions, eligibility and scope of the reliefs – are they up to date with modern business practices and do they currently exclude activities that should qualify?
  • How well they operate for businesses and HMRC – are there ways they could be improved in terms of structure and administration?
  • Targeting of the reliefs – do they maximise the value of R&D activity for the UK economy.

Source: The Construction Index

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

UK government appoints Indro Mukerjee as new Innovate UK CEO

The UK Business Secretary, Kwasi Kwarteng, has appointed Indro Mukerjee as the new CEO of Innovate UK, an organisation seeking to help develop the UK innovation and drive investment in research and development.

Specifically, he will be responsible for developing the UK’s innovation capability, driving investments in research and development (R&D) and technologies of the future.

However, the appointment is also meant to transition Innovate UK from a grant funding body “to an agency focused on driving economic growth by working with companies to de-risk, enable and support innovation, while unleashing private sector investment into research and development,” says the government.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

“I want innovation to be at the heart of our efforts to build back better, and to achieve this we need strong leadership from experienced innovators, with business know-how, who can help unleash the UK’s vast scientific and technological potential,” said Kwarteng.

“Along with his passion for science and technology, Indro boasts impressive credentials having worked at the top tier of businesses of all sizes and across different industries. I look forward to working closely with him at the helm of Innovate UK, which will be a crucial vehicle in accelerating business-led innovation and technology, driving economic growth, creating high-value jobs and cementing the UK’s status as a science superpower.”

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

The experienced technology executive and business leader will take up the post immediately.

“Throughout my career, I have had a strong personal passion for the journey from scientific discovery through to innovation and ultimately commercialisation of technology,” said Mukerjee. “I have seen that journey at first hand across many settings, industries, countries and types of business. I will use this experience as I lead Innovate UK and work with the Secretary of State to deliver the government’s innovation strategy.”

Source: Electronics Weekly

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here

Marketing No Comments

£250m Additional Funding to Boost Collaboration and Ongoing Research

Scientists and researchers will get an extra £250 million funding this year to support pioneering research and drive the UK’s ambitions to become a science superpower.

As a result, UK scientists will have access to more public funding than ever before. This takes total Government investment in R&D to £14.9 billion in 2021/22 and follows four years of significant growth in R&D funding, including a boost of more than £1.5 billion in 2020/21.

Discover our R&D Tax Reclaim services.

It will mean UK Government R&D spending is now at its highest level in four decades.

This investment reinforces the Government’s commitment to putting research and development at the heart of plans to build back better from the pandemic. It will support vital and pioneering research while enabling the UK’s brilliant scientists, researchers and businesses to access and benefit from the world’s largest collaborative research programme, Horizon Europe – worth around €95 billion over the next decade.

Learn all about how our R&D Tax Claims work.

Last month the Government announced the new Advanced Research & Invention Agency (ARIA), backed with £800 million by 2024/25 and tasked with funding high-risk, high-payoff research that offers the chance of high rewards, supporting ground-breaking discoveries that could transform people’s lives for the better.

The Government remains committed to reaching its target of 2.4% of GDP being spent on R&D across the UK economy by 2027 and increasing the budget for research and development to £22 billion.

Source: India Education Diary

To find out more about how we can assist you with your R&D Tax Reclaims please click here