R&D in Manufacturing

Manufacturing is one of the most innovative areas of UK industry and many companies are undertaking work that qualifies for research and development (R&D) tax credits.

However, these firms are prone to missing out on tax relief because they believe their work does not qualify. While commercial product development may not be eligible, a vast range of activities and efforts to advance understanding are constantly underway in the manufacturing sector.

Work with new materials, innovative solutions to safety challenges and theintegration of new technology can all be eligible. Tracking projects and R&D expenditure is essential, as manufacturing businesses need to submit detailed accounts of the activities that qualify. Seeking expert advice can therefore be crucial to a tax credit application.

Examples of eligible activities

  • Design and construction of prototypes
  • Automation to improve manufacturing processes
  • Research to reduce environmental impact
  • Creation of new software
  • Development of new techniques for scalability
  • Innovative use of materials

A plastic bag manufacturer found it was sending large amounts of material to landfill, so it set out to reduce wastage.

After conducting extensive research into alternative uses of the by-products of its manufacturing process, the firm developed a method for converting the waste into a new product. Thanks to extensive review and modification of the process, it has now eliminated the need to send any material to landfill.

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