The Challenges of COVID-19 on Research & Development

The COVID-19 Pandemic and its related complications has created many challenges for companies the length and breadth of the UK.

For infinitely large numbers this has resulted in awkward challenges of having many staff working from home, to the other end of the scale where the complete shutdown or decimation of their business has taken place.

COVID -19 has led to many companies completely changing their business models, realigning their products, delivery methods or in some cases every aspect of their business to try and survive. Where these changes have taken place, many will have endeavoured to make scientific or technological changes. With these changes it is more than likely that these companies will be eligible to make a claim for R&D tax relief.

Vast amounts of software companies have moved their activities to the cloud or in some cases developed new online mechanisms to support businesses remotely. Where these technical advancements have been made there will most definitely be an opportunity to make an R&D claim!

For manufacturing companies who have developed new and robust Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) there will also be a claim.

Some distilleries and even breweries have led from the front and realigned their production processes to manufacture hand sanitiser and alcohol-based cleaning products, to help fight the spread of infection. They have made technological advances; they will have a claim.

Working remotely as never before has seen the acceleration and emergence of stringent cybersecurity and authentication processes. With this similarly it has become vitally important in the inherent need to have higher cyber protection and secure access for sensitive personal and company data utilised by scattered UK & global workforces. This in turn has caused more advancement problems for software development companies working flat out to enhance or redevelop their current offerings. These companies will all have a claim.

Alongside the huge amounts on innovation driven by COVID-19, the world of technology continues to grow and change. Companies working on medical devices right through to consumer electronics. These manufacturing sectors will undoubtedly be carrying out vast amounts of innovation and R&D. Doing their level best to utilise and exploit the potential introduced by increased demand for fast testing and result driven devices. Again, there will be a claim…

Lifestyle and dietary changes are also playing a major part in how we live. Over the past few years, the demand for more health-conscious foods such as meat free, low fat vegan and calorie-controlled food products has increased rapidly. With these changes it has brought a significant increase in the amount of R&D tax relief claims being made by food manufacturing companies as they align and change manufacturing production processes, develop new products, and invest heavily in the research and development of these innovations.

In Conjunction with these newer developments and pressures, there is still a huge number of companies continuing to carry out R&D in reaction to cataclysmic changes in their industry sector. Whether you are making products more environmentally friendly and helping to reduce your carbon footprint in the development of green energy sources, there is the potential to make a claim. The environmental improvements remain a crucial driving factor in the continued motivation for companies across all sectors to help the environment and engage in carbon footprint reduction, all of which is eligible R&D tax relief.