Water & Sewage

Sector Overview – Waste, Water & Sewage

Within the latest HMRC statistics on R&D tax credits, we can see that only 0.58% of all claims made under the SME scheme, were for companies operating in the Water, Sewage and Waste sector.
The average claim value is £40,816.

Research and Development Tax Credits within the Waste, Water and Sewage sector

The waste, water and sewage sector covers a wide range of business types. As a result, companies within this field will often find it necessary to engage in a broad range of research and development (R&D) activities, depending on each new project that they embark on. Being eligible for R&D tax credit centres around two key areas. You need to be either:

Producing new or improved products.

The design and development of a product involving some degree of uncertainty for which the answers were not obvious.

Examples of scientific and technological uncertainties in the waste, water & sewage sector

Choice of materials
Trial and experimentation will often be needed when selecting which materials to use, for new products or components. The reason being that these will play an integral role in the structural stability of the end product. Some materials will be unsuitable for the task at hand; for example, they could be unable to withstand specific pressures. Sometimes a material will be incompatible for the build because it can directly conflict with other materials that are in use.
Integration of new components
It’s not uncommon for new components to work as expected while being developed, but when assembled will act very differently. As it’s only when all of the components are pieced together, that companies can fully test the product, it’s this integration phase that can contain many technological uncertainties that will need to be tackled.
Developing a Formulation which meets specification
Any slight alteration can directly impact the chemical or physical properties of the product; for example, the pH or concentration. As a result of this, there’s often a great deal of research and development taking place while creating new formulas.
Unexpected reactions
When developing or adapting products to work under different conditions than they were originally intended, further technological uncertainties can arise. Some materials can react adversely to one another, or can react to any new components that have been introduced to the system. When unexpected issues like this arise, they will directly impact the way that a product acts. As a result, these require more trial and experimentation to ensure their suitability.

Excellent and professional service, which enabled us to make a successful claim that we hadn’t even known we were entitled to.

Jean Parr, Atlantis UK