Government schemes that support R&D during coronavirus

If your business is working on a project in research and development, or is pursuing an innovation in science or technology, then you could be eligible for more funding to help make your project a success.

20 April 2020

Coronavirus has left many businesses in need of financial support, especially businesses that are yet to turn a profit. The government recently announced a support package of £550m to support businesses in R&D. The money will be added to existing loan and grant schemes. iwoca will update this page with more information as soon as the government announces it.
Until then, we’ve listed some schemes that could help fund R&D businesses. Read on to see if you’re eligible.

Innovate UK Smart Grants

This government-backed funding competition went live in January and though it may not be applicable to all, it does enable some businesses the “opportunity to apply for a share of up to £25 million to deliver ambitious or disruptive R&D innovations that can make a significant impact on the UK economy.”

The competition is open now and closes on 22 April. You can apply here.

R&D Tax Credits

If your business is working on an innovative science or technology project, you could be eligible for tax relief. In order to benefit from this scheme, the R&D project must relate to your company’s trade and be attempting to overcome a problem that could not easily be solved by a professional in your field. On top of these eligibility criteria, your business will need to have 500 staff or less and a turnover of under £92m (€100m).

If you meet these criteria, SME R&D relief could allow you to deduct an extra 130% off qualifying costs from your yearly profits.

For more information and to apply, visit the government page on R&D relief.

Patent Box

In order to support innovative SMEs, business owners with patented inventions can apply to this government scheme in order to pay a lower amount (10%) of Corporation Tax. To be eligible for the Patent Box, your business must profit from a patented invention granted by an approved body (see full list here), and actively contribute to developing the patented product.

For more detailed information on this scheme, click here.

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Dan is part of the content team at iwoca. He writes articles explaining financial topics, as well as guides on the best support for small businesses during coronavirus.

Article updated on: 8 October 2020

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