Commentary

By Tom,

What Are You Doing to Promote Innovation In Business?

Developing new products, materials, and processes is key for success in business, and doing so means you may also be eligible for benefits, which R&D tax experts can certainly help you with!

But it seems that more could certainly be done in this regard, with new research from the Confederation of Business Industry (CBI) revealing that not enough research and development (R&D) is being conducted in the UK, with just 1.7 per cent of the GDP spent in this area.

This is below the OECD average of 2.4 per cent, with investment in this country particularly limited outside the south-east, according to the Don’t Wait, Innovate report. Currently, three regions make up 52 per cent of UK R&D expenditure – London, the south-east and the east of England.

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UK: Home for Global Innovation

“For centuries, the UK has been a home for global innovation.  Scientific progress has not only transformed our economy, it’s been the single biggest driver of productivity and helped tackle some of our society’s biggest challenges.

“But, with the continued political uncertainty and our competitors investing more in innovation, the next government must relaunch the UK as one of the best places in the world to imagine, invest and invent.

“This report lays out concrete initiatives that can kick start public and private investment across our country,” CBI innovation and digital director Felicity Burch said.

The white paper report goes on to argue that the UK now needs to capture the benefits to be wrought from furthering innovation-led growth around the nation, through the establishment of a new regional network of Catapult Quarters.

These would be designed to build on existing strengths in R&D in a more coordinated way to bring together the services that local businesses need and local policy leaders to collaborate and commercialise projects. The Quarters would be set up around clusters of new or existing industry activity and attached to anchor institutions such as research technology organisations.

You don’t need to reinvent the wheel!

When it comes to R&D, there is a preconceived notion that you need to have a seriously innovative idea in order to be eligible for the benefits associated with projects of this kind, but this isn’t necessarily the case.

All sorts of projects, big and small, can be eligible for this kind of tax relief.

The scheme was first brought in back in the year 2000 to stimulate innovation and encourage companies of all shapes and sizes to engage more in R&D projects by taking on some of the financial risk involved.

While it’s true that the majority of larger businesses and organisations already take advantage of this scheme but there are many smaller ones out there, even 20 years later, that are yet to consider how they could benefit.

If you’d like to find out more about R&D and to see if you’re eligible, especially if you’re in the north or anywhere outside the south-east, get in touch with the Optimal Compliance team today.

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