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Global investment and innovation incentives updates: August 2017

Global developments benefiting business

This monthly publication provides a summary and updates on the latest global developments in research and development (R&D) credits, grants, and other incentive arrangements. More than 50 countries offer specific incentives and this newsletter focuses on identifying and outlining what could be the right incentives for your organization.

China

SAT stipulates the implementation of income tax incentives for HNTEs

China’s State Administration of Taxation (SAT) issued guidance on 19 June 2017 that clarifies the application of the 15 percent preferential enterprise income tax (EIT) rate available to high and new technology enterprises (HNTE). The standard EIT rate is 25 percent.

The guidance clarifies the following:

  • An enterprise recognized as an HNTE can enjoy the 15 percent EIT rate as from the year indicated in the HNTE certificate,
  • The HNTE can prepay its provisional EIT at the 15 percent rate in the year in which the certificate expires before it renews the HNTE certificate. However, if the HNTE fails to renew the certificate, it will be required to pay the additional taxes for the relevant tax period (at the standard EIT rate, rather than the incentive rate),
  • More documentation must be prepared by a HNTE to support its status in the event of an inspection by the tax authorities, and
  • If the enterprise fails to satisfy the criteria for HNTE status, that status will be revoked and the relevant tax benefits already obtained, as well as late payment interest, penalty, etc. will be recaptured.

The guidance applies to the 2017 EIT filing year and thereafter.

Scheme budget
N/A
Type of incentive Reduced EIT rate
Deadline N/A

Jiangsu HNTE inspections

In 2016, the tax authorities in Jiangsu province (a coastal province in China) issued a notice indicating that they intend to inspect HNTEs within the province. Early in 2017, the Tianjian (a municipal city in Northern China) authorities issued a similar notice, so it seems likely that such inspections could be expanded nationwide.

By the end of August 2017, all municipal-level tax authorities in Jiangsu province are required to complete their inspections of HNTEs, and companies must complete self-checks and self-rectifications. As part of the self-check, HNTEs are required to provide information in a set of tables and submit documents to demonstrate that they fulfill the criteria for HNTE status on a continuous basis, i.e. not only in the application stage but also in subsequent years.

Jiangsu plays an important role in China's high tech industry in terms of numbers of recognised HNTEs and their revenue; the inspection initiative is the largest in terms of depth and scale since China relaxed its criteria for HNTE status in 2016.

With the relaxation of HNTE criteria and the simplified application procedures, the tax authorities have enhanced the follow-up inspections of HNTEs. An HNTE (and potentially its responsible personnel) will be exposed to tax and legal risks if the company fails to qualify for HNTE status in follow-up investigations.

It should be noted that the launch of the “Golden Tax Filing System III” will allow the tax authorities to operate more efficiently and will facilitate more frequent inspections.

Scheme budget N/A
Type of incentive Reduced EIT rate
Deadline N/A

Contact your China representative

Clare Lu,
partner
+86 21 6141 1488

Roger Yu Jie Zhou,
senior manager
+86 21 6141 1381

Czech Republic

Innovation programme

The aim of this programme is to support the purchase of production technology, equipment, know-how, and licences for implementing projects following completed R&D. The subsidy is intended for the launch of new or innovated products and processes into operation and on the market. Companies of all sizes implementing their projects outside Prague are eligible for the subsidy. An eligible project may obtain a subsidy of up to 45 percent (small businesses), 35 percent (medium-sized businesses), and 25 percent (large enterprises) of eligible costs. The subsidy for a project can range from EUR 38,500 to EUR 2 million.

Scheme budget EUR 115 mil.
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline 11 November 2017

Energy savings—Energy-efficient buildings programme

This programme aims to decrease energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in the business sector. Companies of all sizes implementing their projects outside Prague are eligible for a subsidy of up to 80 percent (small businesses), 70 percent (medium-sized businesses), and 60 percent (large enterprises) of eligible costs. The subsidy for a project can range from EUR 7,700 to EUR 200,000.

Scheme budget EUR 3.8 million
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline 17 November 2017

Contact your Czech Republic representative

Luděk Hanáček,
partner, Tax and Legal in Central Europe
+420 606 654 304

Germany

Funding programme “Photonics research Germany: Miniaturized optical systems of high integration density”

The aim of this call is to support the development of new or significantly improved technical solutions for miniaturized, highly-integrated optical systems. Reducing the size of optical systems has a variety of benefits, including more flexible use in (formerly) restricted space conditions, integration of various functions of a system, and development of new functions, such as connection to embedded electronic data processing. Additionally, highly-integrated systems are more stable, they perform faster, and are more efficient.

Examples of funding topics include:

  • Integrated micro-optical and electro-optical circuits, e.g. supporting applications in measuring and signaling technology, machine control, communication, and automotive engineering,
  • New concepts for micro and multi-modal sensor or camera functions, and
  • New concepts for compact micro-optical systems with improved stability and durability even under harsh operating conditions.
Scheme budget Funding is disbursed to universities, research institutions, and companies (eligible parties) that are incorporated or active in Germany

The formation of a consortium is required; participants should represent the entire value chain of the project/solution to be developed

Funding for companies can be up to 50 percent of eligible project costs

Universities and research institutions can be subsidised up to 100 percent of the project-related expenditure
Type of incentive Non-repayable cash grant to a consortium
Deadline Submission of a project outline: 15 October 2017 (first application step)

Funding programme “ICT 2020: Methods and tools for aggregation and disaggregation of processes in the Internet of Things”

The use of IT systems in a variety of areas is a significant driver of innovation for the development of new products and services, e.g. for the Internet of Things (IoT), industry 4.0, autonomous driving, and smart cities. There is increasing dependency on the reliability and availability of such systems that operate under dynamic environments and contexts. The software to be developed is, therefore, becoming increasingly more complex.

There are two calls supporting the aim of achieving the required reliability and availability of the IT system, focusing on the following: (1) design principles and concurrency/term method for open, autonomous, emergent, and dynamically changing IT systems; and (2) resilience and reliability in open, emergent IT systems.

Scheme budget Funding is disbursed to universities, research institutions, and companies (eligible parties) that are incorporated or active in Germany

The formation of a consortium comprising a company and a research institution and/or university is required

Funding for companies can be up to 50 percent of eligible project costs

Universities and research institutions can be subsidised up to 100 percent of the project-related expenditure
Type of incentive Non-repayable cash grant to a consortium
Deadline Submission of a project outline: 30 November 2017 (first application step)

Contact your Germany representative

Isabel Antholz
service line leader
+49 (0) 40 32080 4910

Greece

Tax R&D super deduction reform

A joint ministerial decision published on 11 July 2017 updates the definitions and broadens the criteria for R&D expenditure. The new definitions of R&D activities are aligned with the OECD guidelines (Frascati manual) and will apply to costs incurred as from fiscal year 2017. Eligible costs specifically allocated and related to R&D activities may include:

  • Tax depreciation for buildings/ infrastructure/equipment/instruments,
  • Operating expenses, including rent or leasing costs, electricity, water, fixed and mobile line subscriptions, postal costs,
  • Personnel and transportation costs,
  • Consumables,
  • Software and electronic data subscriptions,
  • Patent development costs, and
  • Payment of external researchers, up to 70 percent of total R&D expenditure.

Qualifying R&D expenditure is eligible for a 130 percent tax super deduction, while equipment and instruments are subject to accelerated tax depreciation of 40 percent. If a company cannot utilize the tax benefit in the current year, it may be carried forward for five years. Given that the corporate income tax rate is 29 percent, the potential tax benefit is 8.7 percent of qualifying expenditure.

Scheme budget N/A
Type of incentive Tax super deduction
Deadline Annual submission, aligned with corporate income tax return

Grants for investments in processing, trade, and production of agricultural products

The Hellenic Ministry of Rural Development and Food has published two new calls for proposals under the Rural Development Program of Greece 2014–2020, which supports investments in agricultural products. The programs aims to promote innovation in the agricultural sector by supporting the use of advanced and green technologies.

  • Call for “Action 4.2.1” supports investments between EUR 600,000—EUR 5 million by enterprises of any size (including mergers of producer organizations) in products listed in Annex I of the EU Treaty.
  • Call for “Action 4.2.2” supports investments between EUR 600,000—EUR 3 million by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in non-Annex I products.

Qualifying expenditure includes building and construction costs, costs for purchasing land, costs of machinery and equipment, costs for new vehicles, certification costs for ISO, HACCP etc., costs for hardware and telecommunications equipment, general expenses related to the investment (architect, engineer, consultant etc.), and intangible costs.

The size of the cash grant can range from 20 percent to 90 percent, depending on the region of the investment and the size of the beneficiary.

Scheme budget Action 4.2.1: EUR 120 million
Action 4.2.2: EUR 30 million
Type of incentive Cash grants
Deadline Action 4.2.1: 2 October 2017
Action 4.2.2: 12 October 2017

Contact your Greece representative

Stelios Sbyrakis
Tax principal Gi³
+30 21 0678 1196

Italy

Extension of the super depreciation tax scheme

The 150 percent super depreciation tax scheme, introduced in the 2017 budget law, provides a 150 percent increase of the acquisition cost for investments in new high-tech tangible assets, i.e. a total deduction of 250 percent of the acquisition cost. The super deduction has been extended to cover investments made up to 31 July 2018 (instead of 30 June 2018).

Scheme budget N/A
Type of incentive Super depreciation
Deadline 31 July 2018

National technology clusters: Funding programme for research projects

Large enterprises, SMEs, and research institutions can apply for this new R&D funding program. A partnership is required that includes at least one enterprise and one university or one public research institution.

Areas of interest are: aerospace; agri-food; blue growth; green chemicals; cultural heritage; design, creativity made in Italy; energy; intelligent factories; sustainable mobility; health; smart, secure and inclusive communities; and technologies for ambient intelligence.

Projects must have a budget between EUR 3 and EUR 10 million. At least 80 percent of funded costs must be incurred in “less developed” regions (central and south Italy) and at least 20 percent of eligible costs must be incurred by universities and/or by public research institutions.

Scheme budget EUR 497 million (of which EUR 393 million is dedicated to “less developed” regions)
Type of incentive Non-repayable cash grant
Deadline From 27 July until 9 November 2017

Contact your Italy representative

Ranieri Villa,
Tax partner
+34 8 875 7224

Poland

Industrial R&D works
Sub-measure 4.1.4 of operational program smart growth application projects

Research consortia (up to five entities) consisting of research units and entrepreneurs planning to carry out industrial R&D can apply for grants within sub-measure 4.1.4 of the operational program smart growth application projects.

Financial support is intended for projects involving industrial R&D, or just development, carried out by consortia of research units and enterprises that are seeking a practical application of the R&D results. The outcome of the project must be novel in Poland in relation to the current state of the art and must involve process or product innovation.

Scheme budget Budget: PLN 200 million
Eligible costs range from PLN 2 million-PLN 10 million

Eligible costs: Remuneration, costs of outsourcing (up to 50 percent), R&D infrastructure and equipment (depreciation and leasing), intangible assets, land and buildings, other operating costs, indirect costs (up to 17 percent of direct costs excluding costs of outsourcing).

Support level:

– Industrial research: 50 percent (65 percent*) for large enterprises, 60 percent (75 percent*) for medium-sized enterprises, 70 percent (80 percent*) for small/micro enterprises

– Development: 25 percent (40 percent*) for large enterprises, 35 percent (50 percent*) for medium-sized enterprises, 45 percent (60 percent*) for small/micro enterprises

* Higher percentages apply if there is broad dissemination of R&D results
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline The call for proposals will take place across three time intervals:

– 18 September2017–17 October 2017

– 18 October 2017–16 November 2017

– 17 November2017–18 December 2017

Sub-measure 1.1.1 of Operational program smart growth: Call for proposals for micro, small, and medium-sized entrepreneurs financing small projects, with a short implementation period

Micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises planning to start R&D leading to commercialization will be able to apply for funds distributed within the “Fast track” programme.

Support for projects that include industrial research and/or development works where the project implementation location is in an area of Poland other than Mazovia voivodship. The project completion date cannot be later than 31 October 2018.

Scheme budget Budget: PLN 150 million
Eligible costs range from PLN 0.3 million-PLN 1.5 million

Eligible costs: Remuneration, costs of outsourcing (up to 50 percent), R&D infrastructure and equipment (depreciation and leasing), intangible assets, land and buildings, other operating costs, indirect costs (up to 17 percent)

Support level:

– Industrial research: 60 percent (75 percent*) for medium-sized enterprises, 70 percent (80 percent*) for small/micro enterprises

– Development: 35 percent (50 percent*) for medium-sized enterprises, 45 percent (60 percent*) for small/micro enterprises

* Higher percentages apply if there is broad dissemination of R&D results
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline 1 June 2017–31 August 2017

Submeasure 1.1.1 of the Operational program smart growth
Call for proposals for micro, small, and medium-sized entrepreneurs that received the seal of excellence in SME instrument phase II (Horizon 2020)

A call for proposals is addressed to micro, small, and medium-sized entrepreneurs whose projects have been positively evaluated by the European Commission under the SME Instrument (Phase II) and have received a Seal of Excellence (but due to the depletion of funds they did not receive SME Instrument funding).

Projects must satisfy the following conditions:

  • Include industrial research and/or development,
  • Have been submitted to the SME Instrument, Phase II (Horizon 2020) within 18 months before the date of application for the National Centre for Research and Development (NCRD) grant,
  • Received the Seal of Excellence in the SME Instrument Phase II but did not receive EC funding under this instrument.
Scheme budget Budget: PLN 50 million

– Overall eligible costs may not exceed EUR 50 million,

– EUR 20 million if industrial research is more than 50 percent of eligible costs, or

– EUR 15 million if development is more than 50 percent of eligible costs.

Eligible costs: Remuneration, costs of outsourcing (up to 50 percent), R&D infrastructure and equipment (depreciation and leasing), intangible assets, land and buildings, other operating costs, indirect costs (up to 17 percent)

Support level:

– Industrial research: 60 percent (75 percent*) for medium-sized enterprises, 70 percent (80 percent*) for small/micro enterprises

– Development: 35 percent (50 percent*) for medium-sized enterprises, 45 percent (60 percent*) for small/micro enterprises

* Higher percentages apply if there is broad dissemination of R&D results
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline 19 June 2017–29 December 2017

Contact your Poland representative

Michał Turczyk
director
+4 866 683 1825

United Kingdom

R&D of batteries for the electrification of vehicles

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to GBP 30 million to work on innovation projects to design, develop, and manufacture batteries for the electrification of vehicles. The funding is competitive and can be used to support industrial research and experimental development, and projects may span more than one category of research. A separate GBP 10 million competition is being run for feasibility studies. Projects should address one or more of the following technical and supply chain challenges:

  • Cost: cost reduction at the cell and pack level,
  • Energy density: increasing wh/kg per cell,
  • Power density: increasing kw/kg per pack,
  • Safety: eliminate thermal runaway risks for enhanced safety,
  • Temperature: broaden the temperature ranges at which a pack efficiently operates,
  • Predictability: new models to better predict range and battery health,
  • Recyclability: towards 95 percent pack recyclability,
  • Cell and pack production: innovation in cell, module, and pack production,
  • Battery as a system: battery management systems and integration of cells into modules, packs, and vehicles, and
  • Innovation in materials, manufacturing, recycling and charging times of cells, modules, and packs.

Applications are particularly encouraged that:

  • Demonstrate a clear path towards manufacture and commercial opportunity, at scale, in the United Kingdom,
  • Build on successful fundamental research already completed, in partnership with the United Kingdom’s research base,
  • Focus on maximizing the UK return from the battery supply value chain, e.g. in the manufacture and IP related to electrodes,
  • Support all aspects of the United Kingdom’s automotive sector battery supply chain, including niche vehicles and off highway,
  • Have a clear focus on commercialization in the United Kingdom at high volume.

This competition is part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

Scheme budget GBP 30 million

Up to 70 percent of project costs for industrial research and up to 45 percent for experimental development, with the percentage of support depending on the size of the entity

All projects must be a collaboration between at least two partners, one of which must be a SME. Project costs are expected to range in size from GBP 1 million to GBP 15 million and projects should last up to three years
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline 14 September 2017

Collaborative R&D for low carbon automotive technology

The Advanced Propulsion Centre is to invest up to GBP 35 million in a number of collaborative R&D pre-production match-funded projects for low carbon automotive technologies. The funding is competitive and can be used to support industrial research and experimental development, and projects may span more than one category of research.

Projects are required to deliver significant reductions in vehicle CO2 emissions and improvements in air quality, and strengthen UK capability and develop the United Kingdom’s supply chain in the field of low carbon vehicles.

Projects should demonstrate the development of technologies based around one or more of the following:

  • Alternative propulsion systems,
  • Electric machines and power electronics,
  • Energy storage and energy management,
  • Lightweight vehicle and powertrain structures, or
  • Thermal propulsion systems.

All projects must be a business led collaboration with at least two partners: a vehicle manufacturer or a tier 1 supplier and a SME.

Scheme budget GBP 35 million
Project costs are expected to range in size from GBP 5 million to GBP 40 million. Projects should last between 18 and 42 months

Up to 70 percent of project costs for industrial research is available, and up to 45 percent for experimental development, with the percentage of support depending on the size of the entity. However, each project will attract no more than 50 percent public funding of the total eligible project costs. The consortia must decide how to balance funding so that the total grant request for the project does not exceed this percentage
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline 20 September 2017

Collaborative R&D on commercialisation of quantum technologies

UK businesses can apply for a share of up to GBP 6 million to work with research organizations or businesses on commercializing quantum technologies. The funding is competitive and can be used to support feasibility studies, industrial research, and experimental development, and projects may span more than one category of research.

The following conditions must be fulfilled to lead a project:

  • Be a UK-based business or Research and Technology Organization (RTO),
  • Be a business of any size,
  • Carry out the project in the United Kingdom,
  • Work in collaboration with others (businesses, research base, and/or RTO), and
  • Work on a project to develop the technology or market for devices that exploit quantum technologies or their components.
Scheme budget GBP 6 million
Projects should range in size from total project costs of GBP 40,000 to GBP 500,000. Projects outside this range may be considered. Projects should last between three months and one year

Up to 70 percent of project costs for feasibility studies and industrial research is available, and up to 45 percent for experimental development, with the percentage of support depending on the size of the entity
Type of incentive Cash grant
Deadline 20 September 2017

Contact your United Kingdom representative

Alistair Davies,
director
+44 (0) 29 20264272

United States

Florida triumph gulf coast funds

The Florida Legislature has established USD 1.5 billion in funds, allocated from a settlement related to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, to be directed to Northwest Florida for economic development enhancements. The fund provides opportunities for workforce training initiatives and infrastructure projects. The funds will be geared towards local projects throughout northwest Florida and the panhandle region. The legislation charges Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. with establishing an application procedure for awards and a scoring process for the selection of projects.

Scheme budget USD 1.5 billion
Type of incentive Infrastructure/Employee training
Deadline TBD

Florida data center sales and use tax exemption

Florida has established a sales and use tax exemption for qualifying data center property purchased, rented, or leased by a data center’s owners and tenants after 1 July 2017 when used to construct, maintain, and operate computer server equipment at a data center. The data center’s owners and tenants must make a cumulative capital investment of USD 150 million and the data center must have at least 15 megawatts of total power capacity and at least one megawatt of power capacity dedicated to each individual owner and tenant of the data center in order to qualify for the exemption.

A data center must meet these requirements no later than five years from the start of the construction of the data center. Taxpayers must apply to be certified for the exemption, and no new exemptions will be granted after 30 June 2022.

Scheme budget TBD
Type of incentive Sales and use tax exemption
Deadline 30 June 2022

Florida job growth fund

The Florida job growth grant fund, a USD 85 million fund, was established to finance infrastructure and workforce training to improve the overall business climate in the state. The funds may be used for the following:

  • State or local public infrastructure projects to promote economic recovery in specific regions of the state, economic diversification, or economic enhancement in a targeted industry,
  • Infrastructure funding to accelerate the rehabilitation of the Herbert Hoover Dike, and
  • Workforce training grants to support programs at state colleges and state technical centers that provide participants with transferable, sustainable workforce skills applicable to more than a single employer.
Scheme budget USD 85 million
Type of incentive Grant
Deadline TBD

Georgia quality jobs tax credit

Legislation has been enacted that modifies the Georgia quality jobs tax credit available against the Georgia corporate and personal income taxes. An income tax credit ranging from USD 2,500 to USD 5,000 annually is granted per eligible new quality job for a period of five taxable years, provided the following requirements are met:

  • The taxpayer creates at least 50 new quality jobs,
  • The jobs pay wages that are at least 10 percent higher than the county average wage, and
  • The taxpayer makes a minimum capital investment of USD 2.5 million associated with the expansion project.

The legislation extends the time allotted for the required job creation from one year to two years and if a taxpayer creates 50 additional new quality jobs in a future taxable year above the initial 50 new quality jobs, the additional new jobs are eligible for their own independent five-taxable year credit period. The legislation is effective for taxable years beginning on or after 1 January 2017.

Scheme budget N/A
Type of incentive Corporate and personal income tax credit
Deadline Claimed on a timely filed state income tax return

Contact your United States representative

Douglas Tyler
managing director
+1 212 436 3703

For more information

For more information on any of the programs listed above, please contact the in-country representative or your usual contact.

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Global investment and innovation incentives updates: Global developments affecting research and development

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