06 Mar 2015

Funding to unleash your innovation

Matt Symonds
Director

Pressure on the UK’s healthcare service has opened the way for innovators in consumer healthcare, medical technology and diagnostics. But securing the necessary finances to bring products to market is still a challenge.

In this article Matt Symonds of consultancy TBAT Innovation describes two funding schemes commonly used to unleash innovative new ideas.

A significant proportion of innovative healthcare and medical device ideas come from small and medium enterprises (SME) but left to cope on constrained budgets, these ideas can be slower to develop and often later into the marketplace. They may never complete at all.

Contrary to popular opinion, there is no shortage of funding but a shortage of quality, well-constructed applications, and confusion over what is available. Just a few minutes of online research into the big lenders and grant-awarding bodies will show that most are interested in market-changers and disruptive, scalable technologies. But to navigate through the funding landscape and avoid the application pitfalls, it’s often helpful to seek advice and learn from the experience of other companies.

A cash injection

Government support for innovation can take many forms, but one of the most helpful, according to business owners, is being able to reclaim research and development spend as a tax refund or credit.

Derbyshire-based Medstrom submitted a claim for an R&D Tax Credit following the successful completion of a number of innovative R&D projects. The Company designs and manufactures bespoke healthcare equipment used in NHS hospitals to assist with moving and handling, skin management, infection control, patient falls and asset tracking. When the company approached TBAT with a new project, it was evident that previous project costs such as salaries and materials would make them eligible for an R&D Tax Credit, going back 3 financial years. Preparing the credit report and submitting the financial claim to HMRC was relatively straightforward . David Belli, Director of Medstrom commented ‘TBAT quickly identified qualifying R&D spend in order to maximise our claim, releasing vital funding for future R&D’.

To read more of our case studies – please click here.

The Smart approach

Innovate UK is in effect an arm of government which releases numerous grant funding schemes throughout the year. For innovative small and medium enterprises (SME) employing 1-249 people this is the ‘always open’ Smart scheme, and specifically the Biomedical Catalyst for the health and medical industry. Funding is available to companies from new start-ups through to large multinationals, with the majority spend on R&D to cover project outlays on labour, overheads, materials and subcontractors.

As one of the largest distributors of catheters in the UK, Kimal plc identified the need for a fast and reliable way to detect sepsis, a major cause of morbidity and mortality due to delayed administration of medication. Knowledge of the industry and access to market feedback prompted Kimal to develop a novel platform/catheter capable of detecting the symptoms of sepsis early without the need for drawing blood or analysis. With TBAT support, the company was awarded a £100,000 Smart Grant towards the cost of the technical expertise needed to bring a commercially viable solution to market ahead of any potential competition. Grant funding assessors look for two things when reading an application; one is a high level of innovation which is bringing something better, faster, smaller, cheaper to the market and secondly a high level of technical risk for the company. Kimal was able to demonstrate both these requirements in their submission.

Typically, a consultant can help to scope out an appropriate project, write the grant funding application and its associated forms and then submit all documents to the awarding body for review. TBAT Innovation has over 12 years of accessing grant funding for clients across a range of schemes and industries, and last year raised over £20 million in grant funding for promising client projects. If we want Britain to innovate its way out of recession and into economic growth, we must make the most of the grant and tax incentives on offer.

Get in touch with TBAT to discuss how we can assist you with your R&D projects.
Government support for innovation can take many forms, but one of the most helpful, according to business owners, is being able to reclaim research and development spend as a tax refund or credit.

Derbyshire-based Medstrom submitted a claim for an R&D Tax Credit following the successful completion of a number of innovative R&D projects. The Company designs and manufactures bespoke healthcare equipment used in NHS hospitals to assist with moving and handling, skin management, infection control, patient falls and asset tracking. When the company approached TBAT with a new project, it was evident that previous project costs such as salaries and materials would make them eligible for an R&D Tax Credit, going back 3 financial years. Preparing the credit report and submitting the financial claim to HMRC was relatively straightforward . David Belli, Director of Medstrom commented ‘TBAT quickly identified qualifying R&D spend in order to maximise our claim, releasing vital funding for future R&D’.

To read more of our case studies – please click here.

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Assists organisations in accessing research and development grant funding across a range of UK and EU schemes and industry sectors.

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