The Construction and Engineering sector is one of our innovation team’s biggest priorities. R&D in construction has lagged behind other sectors and needs support in unlocking funding to ensure continued investment in innovation.
One area the sector needs to work on is diversity. Building on last year’s whitepaper, women in construction was a prominent theme for our sector experts. The team celebrated International Women in Engineering Day in June with Q&As with two of our consultants, Fiona Cherry and Abigail Doherty. These delved into the backgrounds of both consultants, their journey into consulting, their thoughts on diversity, and some of their inspirations.
Seeing the demand for greater discussion about women in the sector, Ayming held a roundtable in September. This was a huge success, with a fantastic debate between the 8 attendees from leading construction firms, who discussed diversity and R&D in construction. This interest and support for women in the sector also led to Ayming’s sponsoring the Inspiring Women in Construction and Engineering Awards.
As was the case last year, the team sees an opportunity in R&D credits among architecture firms and has tried to drive further awareness. As Flora Cherry argues in her piece from July, architects still have misconceptions about the eligibility of their work for R&D tax credits. They often assume that the definition of R&D in construction and architecture does not stretch to their activity, which means they are not accessing the funding they are entitled to.
Finally, towards the end of the year, the team published a case study about their work with leading engineering firm, WSP. The firm initially brought on Ayming in 2017 to optimise its claims process and uplift existing claims. WSP works on approximately 16,000 projects per year, so Ayming helped devise a sampling methodology with HMRC to streamline the claim delivery and minimise time spent. Since then, Ayming transitioned WSP to a real-time claims process in 2020, giving WSP full oversight of its R&D activity.
Throughout the year, Ayming has retained a presence in the conduction media, leading conversations of R&D in construction. When the International Innovation Barometer went live in September, it was covered by Design & Build UK and Construction Europe. Shortly after, in November, Construction News covered Ayming’s comments regarding the Chancellor’s Budget announcements.
Stay tuned for more next year.
Notes to Editors
Ayming is a leading international Business Performance consultancy and has a global footprint. The Group is present in 15 countries: Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, the UK and the USA, with a staff of approximately 1,300.
In the UK, Ayming helps businesses to improve their financial and operational performance through innovation, tax, and HR performance.
Annabel Rivero, Aspectus Group
+44 20 7242 8867