It has been almost one year since Business Secretary, Alok Sharma, published the R&D roadmap.
This post will explore what has happened since that day and how the plans could benefit your business.
As a recap, the vision (which was originally published on 1st July 2020) was to:
- “Cement the UK as a world-leading superpower”.
- Provide £300m investment in science infrastructure.
- Create a new office for talent to attract global talent.
These are some of the objectives that highlight the UK government’s vision for a future sustainable economy. As titled, this heavily centres around Research and Development and there are 3 ways in which this can benefit your business.
- Easier to claim R&D Tax Credits
As you may already know, the UK Government provide R&D Tax Credit refunds to all companies who undergo Research and Development. During the claimant process, HMRC tends to add layers of obstacles which make the process longer and more difficult to deal with. This would usually result in fewer claims being processed due to companies being simply put off by the longevity of the claim. However, now that the Government have emphasised the importance of R&D for the future growth of the economy, they are clearly showing an incentive to boost this process for every company that wishes to be innovative. This means that they could become more lenient during the R&D Tax Credit claimant process and hence remove a few of those obstacles within the process.
- More Innovative Strategies
With the new office for talent being based at No.10, its purpose is to make it easier for the biggest scientific and innovative minds from across the globe to get into the UK. This diverse and global recruitment of talent is intended to work at all levels, from students to (what is known as) ‘industry leaders’ and generally everybody in between who fulfils that needed quota.
This new team are also tasked with simplifying any hurdles to the UK’s vision by analysing Government support of the research process; from initial ideas to final product development. As well as this, they aim to simplify the regulations around immigration into the UK, this is to ensure that emerging systems do not become barriers to top talent coming in.
This new system can have huge benefits to your company. With the easing of highly skilled talent immigration, your company could capitalise on this influx of talent within the labour market by employing innovative employees from abroad who can help expand your research and development. Having different and respected expertise coming from abroad can help develop a sense of uniqueness to your brand’s product/service. This in turn can differentiate your business from domestic competitors, hence proving the theory that you can generate more innovative strategies.
- Continued support for education, training and skills
There is an element of cross-over between this benefit and the previous point, as they both correlate to the newly skilled talent that you can employ within the company. The difference is, that although benefit No.2 aimed at the immigration system, it focuses on domestic investment within the labour market. This is done through university grant schemes, incentives to boost employment within specific STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sectors etc. With this continued support focussing on R&D, you can expect costs to be lower on internal training and recruitment due to the investment provided at lower levels to boost employability skills and experience.