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The role of R&D tax credits in supporting life sciences innovation

The UK is one of the most innovative countries in the world and a sector in which research and development is extremely prominent is life sciences.

Life Sciences innovation is the backbone of our renowned healthcare system and the COVID-19 pandemic has truly highlighted our absolute reliance on companies conducting research and development in this field.

The importance of research and development in life sciences

The life sciences sector is evolving at a record pace, continually developing health, care and wellbeing solutions. In Wales alone, the sector employs over 11,000 people and contributes over £2 billion in turnover to the economy. Solutions are not just a matter of improving efficiency or developing a new commercial product, they can be the difference between life and death.

Life Sciences Hub Wales is an organisation set up to assist in the collaboration between industry, health and social care, and research organisations to make a positive di­fference to people, families and businesses.

Christopher Jones, Business Engagement Manager at Life Sciences Hub Wales, commented

It is an exciting time to be working in life sciences right now, with the sector evolving at a rapid pace. Harnessing the potential of growing fields such as digital technology, artificial intelligence, precision medicine, and advanced therapeutics will help transform our health and economic wellbeing through meaningful innovation.

We’re here to make this happen at Life Sciences Hub Wales. We act as an innovation partner – inspiring collaboration and providing insights to industry, health, social care, and research organisations. Our activities such as the Accelerate programme are helping to translate bright ideas into technology, products and services by fostering partnerships between innovators and research institutions. This is through providing innovators access to academic expertise, an understanding of the life sciences ecosystem, and the latest facilities and technologies.

Christopher Jones

Business Engagement Manager , Life Sciences Hub Wales

The role of R&D tax credits

R&D tax credits is a valuable tax relief available to limited companies. It can provide companies with a cash injection of up to 33p for every £1 spent on qualifying R&D activity; funds that can be used for any purpose.

Matthew Jones, managing director at LimestoneGrey commented:

‘When you think about innovation in healthcare, you are automatically drawn to the incredible advancements in medicines and drugs made by scientists in white lab coats, a vital field of healthcare R&D. However, life sciences innovation covers so much more. Examples of such can include:

  • The development of artificial intelligence (AI) and digital techniques to combat staff shortages.
  • The development of virtual reality (VR) technologies and robotics to enhance medical training.
  • The development of high tech wellbeing technologies to improve and monitor our health.
  • The development of 3d printing for healthcare products.
  • The development of technology platforms that can be used for remote care.

All of the above will revolutionise the way healthcare is delivered.

Companies and organisations like Life Sciences Hub Wales have a big part to play in the future of healthcare. Companies will invest vast amounts of time, effort and money in finding solutions or improvements. R&D tax credits can provide qualifying companies with vital cash injections that can be invested in future projects, ensuring continual development opportunities.’

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