According to the Royal Academy of Engineering “R&D will have an important role to play in the UK’s future, both in responding to the upcoming challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic but also in driving the economic recovery and building back better”. But there are still many businesses that consider research and development (R&D) as something that only large companies do.
In fact, organizations of all sizes can leverage R&D to help them compete in their marketplace. This could be extremely important for businesses that have been struggling under the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic, as it could offer an opportunity to be successful.
However, you may still be concerned that R&D is something that won’t actually offer anything genuinely positive for your company, especially when it comes to the bottom line. If this is the case, here are six tangible benefits of R&D investments during the pandemic and after it’s over that you’ll want to be aware of.
1. A source of income
In the wake of COVID-19, businesses need ways to boost their income more than ever before. It’s often believed that R&D work is purely scientific or technological innovation that doesn’t have a direct impact on income or profit, but this couldn’t be further from the case. R&D can be misunderstood but at its heart, it often involves finding ways to create or provide better products and services.
The fantastic innovative products and services you create through R&D can be an extremely valuable source of income. Not only do these become a unique selling point for your business, but they can also put you ahead of your competition.
2. Attracting investment
We talked about the income that can be generated through impressive products and services, but this is actually only one element of your company income. Another strong reason to invest in R&D is the fact that innovative and forward-thinking companies can often more easily attract investment.
Whether this investment comes from the private sector or through government funding schemes, this can be a great way to get much-needed capital into your business at a time when this is harder than ever.
3. Encourage collaboration
Not all R&D work that you carry out is purely for the benefit of your business alone. In fact, there are often fantastic benefits that come in the form of collaboration. This may be with other companies and competitors in your industry, but could also be from an academic background, with universities often working closely with private business on innovative projects.
This can bring a range of different expertise into your projects and help to make them more successful.
4. Tax relief
The government likes to promote R&D and offers incentives to encourage organizations to carry it out. Conducting R&D work can be cheaper than other forms of work as you’re getting tax relief on qualifying projects. And, according to an R&D tax specialist, there are still many businesses that could be benefiting from an R&D tax claim.
5. Boost your brand’s reputation
Another great reason to invest in R&D is the impact that it can have on your company’s reputation. Pandemic or otherwise, it’s always vital to develop a great reputation for your business, and if you can become known as an innovative company with interesting new products and services, it can be a massive benefit to everything else you do.
6. Access to great talent
This could be an advantage of R&D investment that you might not consider, but when your company is known as an investor in innovation, it can make you a very attractive place to work. No matter what kind of work you do, the top talent in the industry loves to work at the cutting edge.
Your investment in R&D can make your company the kind of place that people genuinely want to work. This can make recruitment much easier.
Many businesses still think R&D as a very airy concept; deep thinking and innovative, but one that isn’t really useful when it comes to the everyday activities of a business trying to survive and thrive through a pandemic. In truth, R&D can play a vital role in making your business more profitable and successful.