Incentivising Innovation in Sports Surface Businesses

Published 8 February 2021

When Charles Henderson, Director of PSD-TGMS and European Turfgrass Laboratories (ETL), decided to move forward with a research and development tax claim, he had some serious reservations. 

“Will the claim take up too much time? Will we see a worthwhile return on investment?”  

Despite his concerns, Charles decided to work with Recoup to recover R&D tax credits. We reveal the outcome of the claim and what Charles had to say about his experience working with us.  

European Turfgrass Laboratories (ETL) was established in 2017. Spearheading innovation in sportsturf materials testing, ETL helps its clients – over 150 golf clubs throughout the world – establish and maintain the quality of their turf projects and existing surfaces. 

Meanwhile, PSD-TGMS is a leading sports maintenance, renovation and construction independent advisory group. Formed in 2016, the company has provided high-risk sports venues with bespoke project and contract management for over four years.  

An opportunity to reflect  

It’s been a busy past few years at ETL and PSD-TGMS. “Our business model has evolved dramatically,” explained Charles. “We’ve moved from an IP consultancy to a testing company. This involved developing new services, most of which included aggressive R&D. But we hadn’t given ourselves any credit for the innovations pursued.” 

A huge part of why was a lack of time. Being so busy transforming the business, Charles was concerned about the demands of processing an R&D claim. But then, in March 2020, the UK went into its first national lockdown. And suddenly Charles and his team had the time to stop and think about their progress so far. 

Such thinking led Charles to reconsider the potential of R&D tax relief. If there was a viable way to recover what had been spent on R&D, he didn’t want both businesses to miss out. But if they were going to move forward with a claim, one question remained: who would help them? 

Turning dread into confidence  

The team at Recoup contacted Charles eight months ago. It was perfect timing. Charles was in the processing of deciding whether to pursue an R&D tax claim and he already knew key members of the team.  

 However, even though Charles trusted Recoup, he was still dreading the claims process: “There were so many unknowns and that made me uneasy.” 

But once the process was underway, Recoup helped remove the fear factor: “They told us exactly how the process would work and what they needed from us. All we had to do was retrieve reports for our R&D internal projects and pull our accounts together.  

 “After that, we had a call with a chartered tax advisor. Then I was free to get on with the business. Because of how professional and clear Recoup were from the beginning, I gained the confidence to let them take the reigns.”  

Innovation is the name of the game  

As Recoup took on the case, we discovered just how much research and development ETL and PSD-TGMS have undertaken over the years.  

 The companies have been driving innovation in sports surface testing through groundbreaking research, introducing services that have never been done before.  

 For example, ETL has recently developed a postal-based golf green indexing service. Previously, if a golf club wanted to test their surfaces, it would need to bring a consultant on-site, get them to take samples and then send them to a laboratory for testing. ETL’s new testing service bypasses these time-consuming steps, making the process much faster. And thanks to a bespoke data bank, ETL is able to manage data for over 150 golf clubs easily and securely.  

 At PSD-TGMS, the team has been busy developing a football pitch testing system. This streamlines testing and scoring methods, making this service much more efficient. While a system called OBST has also been developed which uses artificial intelligence to understand how the surface of equestrian arenas behaves.  

 It’s technological developments like these that are pushing the industry forward. Like Charles, we wanted to make sure these activities were rewarded. After all, that’s why the government created the R&D tax scheme in the first place.  

“An exceptionally good ROI 

In the end, Charles was very happy with the results of the claim. “Recoup showed us how the R&D tax relief scheme is a valuable source of incentive,” he explained. “The ROI on the hours and money spent on our R&D initiatives was exceptionally good.” 

 Looking ahead, Charles also feels more confident about continuing to pursue innovation in sports surfaces and other areas. “The whole experience has encouraged us to continue to invest in R&D. Thanks to Recoup, we also have a better understanding of what we need to do to get R&D tax relief. We feel more encouraged than ever to focus on technological advancements that help our clients in new and exciting ways.”  

Need a better incentive for innovation?  

Recoup can help you recover the time and money spent on your R&D activities. Reap the rewards and gain the confidence to push ahead in your industry, evolving your business in the process. 

 Contact us today on 0800 3277514 to discuss your claim. Or find out if you qualify for R&D tax relief using our Eligibility Checker