Government announces £15m backing investment in science, research and innovation. Are you accessing funding for your R&D activities?

How do businesses fund their investment in emerging technologies? The Business Secretary last week announced £15 million government backing for 125 innovative research and development projects across the UK.

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is going to be established as a strategic body which will bring together Innovate UK, the research and knowledge exchange functions of Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the 7 Research Councils.

The fact that this investment is aimed at themes such as 3D printing and drone technology may not be surprising given these were featured in PwC's Tech breakthrough report in September, revealing the top eight essential emerging technologies.

This pledge from the UK Government is great for investment in these technologies, and is one way of helping to fund these R&D activities. As well as applying for funding through grants like these, one of the simplest ways to receive funding for R&D activities is to make sure you are making an R&D claim.

The latest statistics from HMRC show companies are increasingly turning to Research & Development (R&D) tax credits to help fund R&D activities. The estimated cost to the UK government per annum of R&D tax reliefs has doubled from £1.3bn in 2012/13 to £2.6bn in 2016/17. (HMRC ‘Estimated costs of principle tax reliefs – Jan 2017) Statistics on the number of claimants which were published in September 2016 echo this, showing that the number of claimants increased by over one third in the 2 year period from 2013 to 2015.

This is particularly relevant for SMEs and start-up companies who may struggle to access other types of funding. If you’re an SME you could be claiming up to 33% of your R&D spend back as cash from HMRC.

Even if your investment is not in one of these essential emerging technologies, if you are advancing technology or science, and facing technical challenges in doing so, you may well be eligible to make an R&D claim.

Nifty R&D is an online tool where you can check your eligibility and make an R&D claim – the process has never been easier. Just go online, check your eligibility using our online checker, and submit your claim to R&D specialists for review. PwC experts are on hand at all stages of the process.

Find out what your benefit could be using our calculator, visit or email us at [email protected] for more information.