What is Research and Development in Business?
It can appear as though pharmaceutical and software companies have a monopoly on research and development (R&D). Though innovation is intrinsic to those fields, other fields should not be disheartened by this.
Innovation can occur in many different sectors in many different ways. Any new or improved product, service or process could qualify as R&D, which can open doors to both grant funding or tax credits.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the average growth rate for R&D expenditure since 1993 is 4.3%, with a consistent upward trend of claims for R&D Tax Credits. R&D is going from strength to strength and it is more likely to be found in your business than you may think.
The definition of R&D is reliant on two things: seeking an advance in the field & overcoming challenges that could not easily be worked out by a professional in the field. Though certain sectors are more predisposed to this, R&D is possible in all lines of work.
How Does R&D Relate to Business?
R&D in business includes extensive market research which leads to the creation of products and services. SMEs are more likely to be developing existing products than creating new products due to the expense associated with product creation.
For example, following the recent trend of ‘going green’, businesses who are looking to develop products or processes to be more eco-friendly may help increase sales. Similarly, more cost-effective manufacturing processes may also qualify as R&D within businesses and companies with a persistent R&D goal consistently outperform those without, according to research from 2000.
Encouraging all employees to be aware of R&D within their projects will lead to greater success with research and development, any potential claims made, and with the company’s overall success. In Management Today’s study of business attitude to innovation, they found that 68% of companies said there weree barriers to innovation within their business, mostly due to lack of financial resources. However, through recognition of the funding and tax relief available to businesses, these costs can be reduced.
Through the nature of R&D, there is risk involved, however, this is mitigated by the likelihood of success through either Government schemes, like HMRC's R&D Tax Credits scheme, or through funding, like Horizon 2020’s Fast Track to Innovation grant. R&D often leads to long-term benefits and as we all know competitive innovation is key to keeping afloat in these aggressively progressive times. SMEs need to seriously consider an R&D strategy where the larger companies would have an R&D department.
Creating or developing products and services, both for commercial purposes and within a company, can lead to great pay-offs. From grants to tax credits, success in business to greater productivity, R&D is crucial to business. To find out more about anything mentioned, don’t hesitate to contact us.
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