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We were delighted to have our Managing Director, Peter Azu, featured in Info’s Winter 2020 edition. The magazine for Anglo-French Businesses, took at look at Purpose and Profit for this edition and Peter’s words on innovation show how this fits in to this important topic.

Here’s what Peter had to say in his Q&A.

Understanding the grant and tax relief schemes available to companies is crucial, says Peter Azu, Managing Director of FI Group UK, which specialises in the financing of R&D and innovation.

What can a company do to improve their chances of winning a funding grant?

R&D grant funding is provided by the UK Government as well as European Commission to support the commercial develo9pment of innovative products and services. They are very competitive schemes and have a finite pot, so it is crucial that companies do their homework to understand the application process as well as what is on offer.

Which areas of R&D are currently best for funding opportunities in the UK?

Industry sectors like technology and energy efficiency are more likely to have funding opportunities than other crowded sectors. The Horizon 2020 programme focuses on excellence in science, industrial leadership and societal change with a budget of 79 billion euros. It offers the biggest single opportunity for innovative UK businesses. Organisations with projects close to market could be eligible for 70 percent funding (for business) and 100 percent funding (for non-profits.)

Which aspects of R&D activity are eligible for tax relief?

Work done on developing new products, new processes and services, or enhancing existing products and processes may be eligible for R&D tax relief. The main criteria are that you are making scientific or technological advances, and creating new solutions to scientific and technological challenges.

How does this differ between SMEs and large companies?

The SME scheme is a more generous tax relief scheme and involves R&D tax credits for up to 33 percent of expenditure of a loss-making company on R&D. Whilst the qualifying activities are similar, SMEs can claim for expenditure on subcontracted activities. Large companies can claim R&D expenditure credits for 10p of every £1 spent on qualifying expenditure. They cannot claim for any work they have subcontracted.

You can see the full article in their online edition here.

If you are innovating within your business, get in touch today to find out if your projects could be eligible for R&D Tax Credits.