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Read our latest updates on this year's Wirehive 100

Celebrating the cream of digital innovation in Southern England


Celebrating the cream of digital innovation in Southern England

It’s no secret that the South of England is a hotbed of creativity and technological innovation. The number of organisations performing fantastic work demonstrates that digital innovation is relentless and is showing no signs of slowing down.

At ForrestBrown, an award-winning research and development (R&D) tax credit consultancy based in Bristol, we are all delighted that we are sponsoring the digital innovation award at Wirehive 100 2017. It is an award that reflects our enthusiasm for the digital sector and what we are all about – recognising innovative organisations that are pushing the boundaries of what digital technology can do.

We are lucky enough to consult for these digital, creative and media agencies every day, and it’s mind-blowing to see what is being developed.

Creativity and innovation

What we love most about working with these companies is the fantastic people within them. They all harbour a real spirit of collaboration and creativity.

It is through the R&D being undertaken by these companies that technologies previously belonging to sci-fi movies and the distant future, are now a reality. In the description of the digital innovation award entry, it highlighted the application of virtual reality (VR) and drones as two areas which could be considered for entries. This prompted us to look back at our blog for some of the amazing things going on in these areas.

VR creates immersive, computer-generated environments that companies are using in all kinds of ways. After a flurry of hardware releases, from the low-budget Google Cardboard to the high-end Oculus Rift, VR truly is available to everyone.

VR is infiltrating the property market too, changing the way properties are viewed and sold. We are also seeing it in the world of entertainment where VR platforms are now being used to deliver a range of content, such as VR sports broadcasting and VR music concerts. It also has exciting applications in education.

Drones have come a long way over the past few years. Once confined to the world of top-secret military operations, they are becoming increasingly noticeable in civilian life. Amazon is even keen to use them as a delivery option, although there are significant challenges to overcome. Drones have revolutionised photography and are being used in industries like agriculture to inspect huge geographical areas in a highly efficient way.

R&D in the South of England

HMRC recently published its annual statistics, showing that R&D tax credit claims are on the rise. Some key figures to note are:

  • There are 5,435 SMEs claiming R&D tax credits throughout the South of England.
  • The average claim for SMEs in the South East is £71,913.
  • The average claim for SMEs in the South West is £45,714.

The digital sector in particular has much to gain from R&D tax credits. £385m was claimed by the industry in 2015/16 – with the average claim being worth £65,199. This is higher than the average SME claim, reflecting the level of creativity and innovation in the sector.

R&D tax credits are hugely beneficial to the companies receiving them. The money received from claims is often used to hire new staff, help with cash flow and gain a competitive edge by investing in further R&D.

At ForrestBrown, we are experts in recognising qualifying digital R&D and help many digital agencies across the South of England and beyond in optimising their R&D tax credit claims, thus securing vital funding.

Here’s to innovation

All of us at ForrestBrown look forward to continuing to help digital businesses in the South of England in the future.

We have been lucky enough to win a number of awards ourselves and know the buzz of being shortlisted. We wish everyone who has entered this award the best of luck, and look forward to seeing who is revealed as the winner!