The Applied Group is an agricultural facilities company that offer innovative, bespoke farming solutions and have successfully been awarded R&D tax credits through the service of randd uk. With the aim of rewarding innovation, randd uk submit R&D tax credits claims to HMRC on behalf of UK businesses that are undergoing qualifying research and development activities.
Based in a scenic Derbyshire location, The Applied Group specialise in researching, developing and manufacturing products and control systems for agricultural facilities. Their services include project management, farm planning, legislation & farm design, farm management consultancy, contract farming, agricultural HR management & consultancy services, applied handling and more.
The Applied Group consists of two sister-companies who work very closely together; these are Brackenmore Limited and Hudson & Sanders Limited. Hudson & Sanders is a research-centre business that offer consultancy and Brackenmore is a working chicken farm that has been acting as a controlled environment trial site for Hudson & Sanders’s technological advances. Contracts are bespoke to meet the individual client’s needs and range from complete management agreements to effectively shared responsibilities.
“As a business, a big part of what we do is innovation as a farming Company. We then have a global monitoring business that we’re developing, but then we do research innovation – world one-offs.”
David Speller, Managing Director at The Applied Group
The Company has a strong reputation for innovation and are renowned for high standards and early adoption of new technologies. David Speller, Managing Director at The Applied Group explained that the team were focused on monitoring chicken behaviour and researching different bedding materials that could be imported from around the World. New innovative ideas that were thought about but never tested were implemented by The Applied Group. Known as industry leaders, the Company have introduced technological breakthroughs that are now standard practice in the industry.
‘Egg-citing’ research and development is constantly carried out. For example, they were the first farm in the UK to use underfloor heating to warm poultry sheds; the first to use CO2 monitoring of air quality; and the first to use CCTV monitoring inside a chicken shed. The Company have now developed the world’s first 24/7 monitoring of animals. Not every experiment was successful, but carrying out trials is the only way to find out whether the answers were positive or negative. David said:
“We get paid to go around the world, talking to conferences about [innovation]… We’ve just had a microphone delivered into the office this morning to be world firsts to listen in on chickens and interpret how they are feeling based on what they’re telling me. Literally Doctor Doolittle. But we do these world-firsts almost as part of our business every day.”
The Managing Director’s ‘curiosity’ approach has pushed the technological boundaries of farming practices, developing data gathering principles that enable improved real-time decision-making and more efficient farm management. Research is continually carried out into chicken behaviour, chicken psychology, chicken health and the environment in which chickens are raised. Work is ongoing with academics at Bristol University to understand the relationship between vision and health. The company is continuing to develop its concept of remote monitoring of farms with round-the-clock, rapid-response technical support, exploring new sensor and data acquisition methods that will provide early warnings to changes in poultry wellbeing.
The Applied Group are globally renowned experts in agricultural facilities and bespoke farming solutions. The highly skilled team go the extra mile to push innovation through research and development. To find out more about their services or to get a quote, visit the company’s website at www.applied-group.co.uk.
The Applied Group first heard about R&D tax credits through a networking event for business men to meet with the local MP to discuss relevant issues. Richard, the Farm Manager for The Applied Group, shared their problem with cash flow. As David explained, “We can get money from schemes if I want to go and build a piece of kit to manufacture something, but we’re a service sector; we’re growing and we need cash for expansion.” So R&D tax credits were an ideal solution for the Company to sustain and push their innovation.
David preferred to employ specialists for the Company’s R&D tax credits claim. He explained that “some of the criteria [from HMRC] is written in a way to scare you off… you look at it and think, ‘can I 110% tick every one of those boxes on the list?’.” randd uk instantly recognised eligible activities and realised that everyday work carried out by the Company was actually innovation. David was happy with his R&D Reality Cheque and pleased that randd uk’s commission was clear from the start with no hidden agenda and no hidden costs. There are no upfront costs as randd uk only work on a contingency basis after a client has received a successful claim. randd uk also aim to minimise the amount of client’s work whilst optimising the claim size. As David said, “We’re a growing business; we’re a busy business” and many Managing Directors have little time to spare. It was easy to work with randd uk as the process was explained and David said:
“Given what you were able to reclaim for us, it was probably the most valuable hours that I’ve spent working for a long while.”
David Speller, Managing Director at The Allied Group
Like many business owners, David was sceptical about claiming R&D tax credits because “Anything that sounds too good to be true normally is too good to be true.” Upon reflection, the Company is full of innovation and David aims to constantly push the boundaries. The Government scheme has been around since April 2000 and was established for UK businesses like The Applied Group who are pushing boundaries to become World leaders in their field. David continued, “My other concern was how it would link in with my regular tax accounting and my Accountant.” The benefit of working with randd uk for R&D tax credits claims is that we are specialists with a 100% success rate, a vast range of experience and in-depth knowledge of the scheme. randd uk work with Accountants and liaise with HMRC on the client’s behalf.
R&D tax credits sustained the business through a challenging couple of years where innovation took priority over pushing new business. The Company have now overcome a difficult financial period and the rewards from investment in innovation are now beginning to gain momentum.
“[The R&D tax credits claim] helped up with the bank as they gave us an overdraft whereas they wouldn’t before, off the back of they knew what was coming through. We’re grateful, thank you.”
David Speller, Managing Director at The Applied Group
It is an exciting time for The Applied Group with David trekking around the World, sharing innovative breakthroughs on a global scale as market leaders.
Read more about randd uk and the R&D Tax Credits scheme on our website. You can read more case studies of UK businesses like The Applied Group on our Client Stories page which covers a range of industries. To find out if your business is eligible to claim R&D tax credits for qualifying research & development work, call us on 01332 477 070 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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