From steam trains to Hyperloop: Helping innovators to keep on innovating 05.02.18 - Simon Wax Share this item: Twitter LinkedIn Email With the arrival of our new R&D tax credits Director, Iain Butler, we look at how the credit is crucial to the rate and speed of innovation in the UK. 21 February 1804 was an important day for Cornish engineer Richard Trevithick. He took his brand new invention, the railway steam locomotive, on its first ever journey along the tramway of the Penydarren Ironworks in Wales. Defying the early doubters, the Pen-y-darren locomotive successfully carried 10 tons of iron and 75 men for over four hours, amazing spectators and government officials alike. After this early success, the technology took off, altering the landscape within years. Goods that had once taken days to cross the country could be moved within hours. Cities that had been fiercely independent came into close contact. And journeys that were once fraught with danger on rickety dirt roads became painless – and even pleasurable. This was a technology that was truly transformative. Train tracks to the IoT Roll on a century or two and innovation is still at the core of industry in the UK. In the transport sector alone, we have firms using big data to predict the best bus routes, a hub dedicated to the development of driverless cars in the Midlands and Sir Richard Branson investing in Hyperloop for 706 mph travel. However, innovators still need support to make their ideas a reality – and quickly. Richard Trevithick took five years to bring his idea to market. But with the current pace of technological change, that’s much too slow. The government is keen to fast-track innovation. As well as pledges on specific technologies, including artificial intelligence and 5G, the government supports innovative businesses with R&D tax credits. R&D credits help to support companies pulling teams together to develop their ideas more quickly. However, R&D tax credits can be tricky. If Trevithick had wanted to make a claim for his engine he would have had to understand the tax legislation – and as far as we know he never had the time to read any tax guidance. This is why companies need help to identify eligible projects, whilst ensuring that there is minimum disruption to the technical teams in obtaining the credit. Supporting the next Trevithick Innovation is something that we find hugely exciting at Buzzacott. Our aim is to support inventive companies and enable them to focus on what they do best. With that in mind, we are extremely pleased to have Iain Butler joining our team as R&D Tax Credits Director in our Corporate and Business Services team. Iain will help companies to access government support for their investments in R&D – overcoming the challenges of submitting successful R&D tax credits and maximising their claims. At a time when R&D tax services are growing in complexity, Iain will ensure that companies can claim the incentives that are core to their future plans, and keep growing and winning. The UK is a great place to be an innovator. And hopefully within the next few years we may see the next incredible technology take to the rails, roads or (who knows?) even space.