Accelerate your Innovation

National Schemes Supporting Creativity & Innovation

Grants for the Arts This Lottery-funded grant programme is for individuals, arts organisations and other people who use the arts in their work. Grants are available for activities carried out over a set period and which engage people in England in arts activities and help artists and arts organisations in England carry out their work.

Nesta This charity is dedicated to supporting ideas that can help improve all our lives, with activities ranging from early stage investment to in-depth research and practical programmes.

Innovate UK Innovation Vouchers This scheme provides funding to help a business work with an external expert for the first time, gaining new knowledge to help innovate, develop and grow.

Innovate UK Smart Scheme This scheme tackles the funding gap often experienced by many small and early-stage companies with innovative ideas and high growth ambition and potential, offering co-funding to UK-based pre-start-ups, start-ups, micro businesses and SMEs, to carry out science, engineering and technology R&D projects which could lead to successful new products, processes and services.

Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) is the UK's professional body for innovators. It accredits and certificates innovation practices. IKE influence the inter-relationship between education, business, and government through research and collaborative networks. IKE support the development of innovative people and organisations.  IKE runs think-tanks, conducts research studies, develops new business models and tools and supports organisations to benchmark their strategies and develop their innovation capabilities. 

STEM Foundation is an innovation driven charity that supports improvements in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education, delivers STEM assured provision, offers CPD in new and emerging technology areas, encourages multidisciplinary collaboration, and conducts action research to enable knowledge and technology exchange. 

Innovation Support through R&D Tax Credits

Research and Development begins with the desire to achievean advance which involves resolving scientific or technological uncertainties.It ends when the advance has been achieved and all the uncertainties areresolved. If you're taking risks in the business, at a cost to you and you'reseeking to make things better, then you could be entitled to a tax break.

R&D Tax Credits were introduced in 2000 as theGovernment's way of encouraging innovation, which leads to wealth creation andnew jobs. Businesses can claim back eligible costs against their corporationtax paid if they satisfy the criteria, irrespective of whether they make aprofit or not. To qualify, thebusinesses needs to demonstrate four core aspects:

  • The work carried out is in the field of science andtechnology
  • There is a risk to the business
  • There has been ‘an advance'
  • There are uncertainties

There are a number of myths related to R&D Tax Credits.Common citations include that claiming is risky and may lead to broader taxinvestigations, the business is too small, or that the business doesn't haveintellectual property rights and therefore cannot claim. All of these aresimply not true and businesses should at the very least make an enquiry toidentify the facts and understand their position.

Some clients are nervous that if they are seen to overclaim, HMRC will commence further investigation so they do not claim what theyare entitled to claim. The first step would be to ask your accountant. If theyare not able to help with your application, you may need to bring in aspecialist and we can introduce you to a number of reputable firms.  Unlike a grant, the claim is retrospective so you can go back in time as far two years to identify claimable costs.

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