21ST APRIL, 2021

Life Science Innovations that Could Secure You R&D Funding

A prime R&D funding sector that’s in the spotlight

The life sciences sector covers a huge and incredibly diverse landscape: from zoology, plant life and anatomy to medicines, ecology and wellbeing. It’s essentially an umbrella term for science that studies living matter. And, as COVID-19 has been at the forefront of our lives over the last 13 months, it’s an industry that’s drawn plenty of attention lately.

The emerging technologies that are transforming R&D funding across this sector  

Companies operating within Ireland’s life sciences sector have long been under pressure to produce a worthy return on capital R&D investment. While the industry has always been at the forefront of ground-breaking innovation, scaling up its impacts has required challenging R&D across the board. 

Advanced technologies and innovations such as artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, digital health, telemedicine, drug discovery, clinical trials and regulatory reporting have all made R&D a necessity.
Connected devices, wearables and telemedicine have all shown great potential by transforming clinical trial design and data collection. It’s these technologies that are offering new and exciting opportunities for manufacturers to gain deeper insights into patient safety and efficacy (COVID-19 vaccines spring to mind here).

On top of this, advanced information management systems and analytics technology that harvest real-world data mean that companies can plan and organise their R&D activities more effectively. And, cognitive automation and robotics can massively increase time, productivity and cost efficiencies, as well as bring about various improvements in clinical trials and information management.

How Ireland's life sciences sector is set to boom post-Brexit

Since the UK’s departure from the European Union, Ireland is now the only country in the EU where English is spoken as a first language. This puts us at a huge advantage.
It’s hardly surprising that multiple, UK-based MedTech and life science companies have moved their operations over to Ireland. After all, we are now the gateway to the European market.
Furthermore, we have the perfect infrastructure in place for companies in this sector, which makes us an even more attractive option. Indeed, 18 of the top 20 global pharmaceutical companies operate out of Ireland, plus 6 of the world’s top 10 pharmaceutical products are manufactured in Ireland exclusively.

Ireland also puts evolution and growth in the life sciences sector high on its agenda and strongly encourages collaboration between businesses, government agencies and academia. This facilitates business activities both inside and outside of the country.

R&D funding, tax and financial incentives play a crucial role

At 12.5%, Ireland has one of the lowest Corporation Tax rates in the world. On top of this, there are several revenue-backed tax incentives that Irish-based life sciences companies have found extremely valuable. These include:

The Knowledge Development Box (KDB)

The Knowledge Development Box allows qualifying companies to receive a preferential 6.25% Corporation Tax rate in respect of profits resulting from certain IP assets (as long as eligible R&D work has been undertaken in Ireland). The great thing about this is that KDB relief can also be claimed alongside R&D Tax Credits - see below.

R&D Tax Credits

The R&D Tax Credits scheme allows companies to claim back up to 25% of their eligible R&D expenditure as long as it occurs inside the European Economic Area (EEA). This is on top of the standard 12.5% deduction, making it an incredibly generous 37.5% altogether.

The scope of projects and costs that can come under an R&D Tax Credits claim is broad. Essentially, if a company has made an advance in science or technology that benefits the business itself and the wider field it operates in, then it could be eligible for R&D Tax Credits. 

Many companies achieve this by creating a brand-new product, process or service from scratch, or by improving an existing one. Find out more about R&D Tax Credits in Ireland.

The Employment and Investment Incentive (EII) and Start-Up Refunds for Entrepreneurs (SURE) 

Both the EII and SURE schemes work by allowing investors in life sciences companies to receive tax relief on their investment. The relief is worth up to 41% in any tax year, as long as the investment was made into a certified qualifying company. Find out more about both programmes by reading the Relief for Investment in Corporate Trades for Individuals on the Revenue website.

Receive R&D funding by identifying where eligible R&D activities have occurred

By using the Tax Cloud portal and our expert support, you’ll know that the R&D Tax Credit claims you submit will have all your eligible activities and costs included.

The R&D Tax Credits scheme covers a far broader spectrum of work within the life sciences field than you might think. For example, biomedical research that may form part of a claim could include:

•    Curating and analysing substantial volumes of data
•    Researching alternative uses for medicines already on the market
•    Creating new medicines, compounds or medical equipment
•    Opening a new production line
•    Building a manufacturing facility
•    Improving existing products - making them easier to store for example
•    Scaling up manufacturing processes or making them more efficient
•    Developing new software, including algorithms
•    Devising clinical trials and other testing methods to achieve regulatory approval
•    Creating prototypes for testing or improving testing machinery
•    Automating your manufacturing or testing processes, for example in the use of robotics

R&D funding made easy with the Tax Cloud portal

Tax Cloud Ireland is supported by the R&D tax specialists at Myriad Associates. It works by guiding you through your claim, step by step, and helping you to add details about your company, your project and your expenditure. It also allows you to write a fully guided technical report.

Once you’ve written your report, the next stage of the process won’t “unlock” until you’ve submitted, and we’ve reviewed and approved, the report. So, you can rest assured that you’re on the right track whatever stage you’re at. We’ll also ensure sure your claim is fully maximised before we make our final checks and submit it to the Revenue inspectors on your behalf.

Whether your business is in the life sciences sector or any other industry, try the Tax Cloud portal now, or speak to our team on +353 1 566 2001.

Achieve the R&D Tax Credits your business deserves and move your R&D plans forward in 2021.

Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA
Author Barrie Dowsett, ACMA, GCMA CEO, Tax Cloud
Start your Tax Cloud claim now Discover if you qualify and ensure your R&D tax claim is maximised. Get started
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Myriad Associates helps businesses maximise tax credits and secure R&D grant funds. We specialise in R&D Tax Credits, Enterprise Ireland grants.

  • Submitting R&D tax claims since 2001
  • 100% success rate
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Meet some of the team behind Tax Cloud

Barrie Dowsett Barrie Dowsett ACMA CGMA Chief Executive Officer
David Farbey David Farbey MA, FISTC, FRSA Technical Consultancy Director
Lisa Waller Lisa Waller CTA, ACCA R&D Tax Manager
Lauren Olson Lauren Olson MA, MISTC Senior Technical Consultant