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R&D Tax Credit Project Examples

Posted on November 15, 2021

When wondering whether your business is eligible to claim under the R&D Tax Credits Scheme, it can become difficult to find R&D Tax Credit examples for businesses similar to yours, so we have compiled R&D Tax Credit Project Examples from different industries to give a clear indication of what HMRC are looking for, and what makes a claim successful. 

Who can make an R&D Tax Credits claim?

Whether your business is in Hospitality or Manufacturing, the scheme aims to reward all different types of businesses from every sector, as long as they are investing in innovation, you may think that your projects are ineligible but a lot of the time, they qualify. Just 5% of businesses claim through the scheme as they often believe that it is not designed for them due to the misconception that their field of work needs to be extremely highly scientific, but this is not the case.

As long as your business is subject to Corporation Tax, and taking a risk by innovating or improving a process, product or service then your business will be eligible to claim. If you are spending time to extend overall knowledge in your field then you will most probably also be eligible.

Disclaimer: All R&D Tax Credit Project Examples that we have listed are fabricated examples of eligible R&D claims from different sectors to show how a successful claim is determined.

Hospitality Sector Claim Example

The Business: A fine-dining restaurant based in Essex, UK (SME)

The Project: The restaurant wanted to discover new vegan and gluten-free dishes that replicate popular meat dishes, to make their food more accessible for all. The chef’s at the restaurant experimented with different ingredients and methods to prepare the food, to try and create flavours that replicate popular meat without sacrificing customer satisfaction, the foods also had lower salt and sugar content, making them a healthier choice than the original dish with similar tastes. 

A result of this experimentation is a recipe that can be easily mass-produced, retains flavour when preserved and the ingredients used had not been combined before to create the flavour that it achieved, and while being a healthier option, it also successfully replicated the flavours within the dish that came from meat. The recipe took 9 months to develop and extensive testing of different flavours from around the world.

Eligibility: The project was eligible because it overcame a scientific uncertainty, it overcame the issue of replicating the flavour of meat, therefore making it’s dishes better for the environment and to better suit vegans and people that require gluten-free options. The outcome of the project was clearly defined at the start, and even if the outcome was not met, the project would still be eligible to claim as unsuccessful projects still qualify.

Project Expenditure: £25,000

Relief Claimed: £6,200. 

Science & Medicine Sector Claim Example

The Business: A small Pharmaceuticals company based in Surrey, UK. (SME)

The Project: The project was focused around making medication easier to swallow (palatability), making the experience as pleasant as possible. As swallowing medication is a widespread issue that affects people of all ages and groups, it can pose serious problems among patients affecting their health. 

Some examples of issues that the company found during their studies in why medication may be difficult to swallow are the tablet being too large needing a lot of water to travel down the throat, the tablets getting stuck or lodged in the throat causing discomfort and an unpleasant taste or smell inciting gagging and vomiting. They understand that user-friendly medication will make the effectiveness of medication greatly increased, and reduce waste.

Eligibility: The project was eligible as it found ways to make the pills smaller and taste better while still being easily distinguishable from other medications by discovering a new pill film coating that is not on the market, and made the medication significantly smaller. They also re-engineered traditional methods of pill coating not only through the materials used, but found ways to make it feasible for pharmaceutical companies across the market to utilise while manufacturing the medication.

It carried out the project in a scientific field (chemistry), and it clearly highlighted an uncertainty at the start of the project that was not known to the industry, or on the market. They discovered an advancement of scientific knowledge from basic research, gained an advancement of scientific knowledge with practical application, and experimented with different drug film coatings and sizes to test effectiveness and safety.

Project Expenditure: £100,000

Relief Claimed: £24,700

Manufacturing Sector Claim Example

The Business: Leaders in eco-packaging for food supplies, based in Manchester, UK. 

The Project: The R&D Project has the aim to minimize the environmental footprint from packaged food through the use of innovative solutions that are not only more eco friendly, but also preserve the food in a more efficient manner. The packaging was made from Agro-Food residues which makes it naturally biodegradable, but while the project was ongoing it also discovered easy ways to make the manufacturing of this packaging available to many different manufacturers globally, therefore adding economic and industrial value to the product. 

The second part of the project was focused on tailoring the packaging to the manufacturers who will be using it, this lead to a newly designed user-friendly software that allows users to design their own packaging using the eco-friendly packaging, it also allows the user to select the type of food they are selling so that the packaging can take into consideration the number of gasses that the food will be released leading to a breakdown of wasted food and packaging. 

Eligibility: The project explores scientific uncertainties surrounding the breakdown of packaging, working to discover eco-friendly answers to the global carbon footprint in regards to food packaging waste. The project is also eligible as it is answering technical uncertainties surrounding new software that allows businesses of any size to use it, tailoring it to the type of food but also the branding styles of each business. 

It carried out testing in a scientific field (biology and chemistry), but also technology testing for their new software that will accompany the packaging itself. The experiments included safety testing, determining how flammable the materials that the packaging is made from is, and other areas of health & safety to stay within safety regulations for the UK.

Project Expenditure: £250,000

Relief Claimed: £61,750

Agriculture Claim Example

The Business: Medium-sized Horticultural Technology company, based in Suffolk, UK.

The Project: The project was to discover more efficient ways of operating vertical farming through the use of Artificial Intelligence, with the aim to save space and resources and increase harvest quality and accuracy. The Agricultural industry is renowned for taking up large amounts of space, and with overpopulation being an ongoing global issue, vertical farming offers farmers an answer to growing more crops with limited space in stacked layers on top of each other. 

The project aims to solve unstable food, resource and environmental issues while keeping up with increasing customer demands while being resourceful and ensuring a low risk of pests and diseases within their crops. The decision making when it comes to the crops cycles is determined by AI, which allows effective decisions to be made with minimum human error while making the farm more self-sustaining. 

Eligibility: The project is eligible as it overcomes a technological uncertainty through testing different AI programming, ensuring that any crops can be grown to an extremely high quality. The project works to overcome societal and environmental issues surrounding overpopulation, but also environmental as the AI software will ensure that no crops will fail due to environmental issues. 

Project Expenditure: £300,000

Relief Claimed: £72,670

To find out more R&D Tax Credit Project Examples for your industry, or to learn more about what the R&D Tax Credits scheme can do for you, contact our team of R&D Tax Credits specialists today.