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Information and communication is the top-ranking sector in for R&D claims in 2015/2016. This is due to the large number of companies specialising in technology in this area, many with teams dedicated to finding solutions to the problems raised by our increasing reliance on technology in every element of our lives.

Within the UK there are over 47,000 digital technology companies spread nationwide. According to research around 98% of these companies are SMEs and employ 1.46 million people. It is no surprise therefore that this area is rich in R&D projects. Where money is claimed through R&D it is often reinvested in further projects enabling the UK and global tech markets to grow.

Examples of problems to be solved through R&D within this sector

  • How to use technology to improve customer service online
  • How to provide consumers with more time effective modes of communication
  • What will be the next ‘big thing’ in relation to communication between individuals and businesses
  • What will the future of technology and communication involve
  • Where are the information ‘black spots’ and how can they be linked to any existing networks
  • How to interpret data and decipher trends to enable future communication breakthroughs

Examples of what constitutes R&D in these sectors

The HMRC test as to whether a Company is performing R&D is whether there is ‘appreciable improvement’ in a situation as a result of ‘addressing a scientific and technological uncertainty’.

  • Improving existing networks and methods to enable the rapid growth of communication within society
  • Creating solutions to improve customer service such as ‘chatbots’
  • Innovating new apps and programmes to enable technology to reach the general marketplace
  • Modifying LED technology to create wireless networks
  • Designing machines to lay fibre-optic cables whilst reducing the environmental impact of such technology