30 September 2021

Summary: Levelling-up through regional innovation clusters

Universities can help create vibrant new communities across the UK by drawing upon their research excellence, commercialisation expertise, and by working with businesses as well as public and local partners. Our three-step plan outlines how to scale-up successful innovation schemes, create a deep-tech seed fund, and tweak VAT and innovation tax relief whilst cutting bureaucracy.

Levelling-up through regional innovation clusters

Changing VAT rules to promote innovation

University-business collaborations are a vital part of taking innovative ideas and turning them into something with real world impact. To encourage more of these collaborations, our proposal is for VAT rules around capital investment for the purposes of R&D to be changed to encourage more businesses to work with universities on high-risk, high reward research.

How changing VAT rules can promote innovation

Scaling up the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (RPIF)

Since it was established in 2012, UKRPIF has been successful in building core research infrastructure by leveraging industry investment. The scheme, which requires every £1 of public money to be matched by £2 from non-public sources, has contributed to 54 state-of-the-art facilities across the UK. Our proposal is to scale up this successful scheme to create more world-class research spaces.

The UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF) - August 2021

Simplifying rules on SME eligibility for tax credits

The R&D SME tax relief and Research and Development Expenditure Credit (RDEC) schemes have both proven effective at encouraging more private R&D expenditure and helping SMEs to tap into the R&D expertise available across the UK. Our proposal is to simplify these rules to help more SMEs and incentivise collaboration.

Briefing on Tax Credits Eligibility

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