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ForrestBrown have helped secure over £4.5 million in R&D tax credits for DBA members. It’s been fantastic to hear about the positive impact this has had on members’ businesses, and to see those who hadn’t considered themselves eligible for R&D tax credits benefiting from this member service.

There have been recent reforms to R&D tax relief, which ForrestBrown have been helping members understand and navigate so they can capture the full value of their innovation and protect their business from risk. 

Following the announcement of the Chancellor’s Spring Budget on further changes to the UK’s R&D tax relief scheme, Jenny Tragner, Director and Head of Policy at ForrestBrown shared her thoughts on the Budget, highlighting that it “was peppered with positive policies to encourage innovation but lacked a coherent narrative to help businesses navigate an increasingly complex tax landscape.”

Tragner continued: “The Chancellor set out his stall to harness British ingenuity, so it is fitting he has taken an inventive approach to reforming R&D tax relief. However, while enhanced support for SMEs is welcome, the qualifying criteria introduces further complexity for businesses already struggling to make sense of the raft of reforms announced at previous fiscal events and set to come into force this April.” Tragner goes into further detail on what the Spring Budget means for UK innovation in this article

R&D tax credits

Research and development (R&D) tax credits are a valuable government tax incentive that rewards UK companies for investing in innovation. If a project meets the government’s definition of R&D, you can recoup a percentage of your innovation costs.

Many of our members aren’t aware they can benefit from R&D tax credits, haven’t heard of the incentives, or if they have, don’t think they are eligible.

ForrestBrown, the largest specialist R&D tax credit consultancy in the UK, have delivered over £4.5 million in R&D tax credits to DBA members and can show you:

• how your business can qualify

• how much R&D tax incentives can be worth to your business 

• the positive impact of claiming, with real-world examples from your fellow members

Contact Adam Fennelow at the DBA, who can set up an initial discussion with ForrestBrown to see if you are eligible.

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Main Content

The DBA Design Effectiveness Awards recognise projects that demonstrate design’s tangible effect on business, society and people’s lives. From positively impacting gross margin to the creation of new markets, from improved recruitment to increased loyalty, from reduction in production costs to job creation, the achievements of the shortlisted winners are significant and wide-ranging and demonstrate that no matter the size of the business or budget, design creates competitive advantage.

Congratulations to the 23 winning agency and client partnerships and thank you to our fantastic judges who brought their insight and experience to rigorously judge the entries. View the full list of judges here and browse the 2023 DBA Design Effectiveness Awards shortlisted winners below

Join us to celebrate the power of design

On Thursday 29 June from 3:30pm BST, our 2023 winners will find out if they’ve won Gold, Silver or Bronze at the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2023 winners announcement.

Says DBA CEO, Deborah Dawton: “I’d really recommend joining us for the free, online event. The complexity of challenges faced by companies, societies and the planet today provide unparalleled opportunities for design. To capitalise on these, we should all be enhancing our ability to articulate the value design can add, and the event is a great way to do just that. It’s a lively, fascinating, celebratory look at the wide-ranging impact of design – do join us and soak it all up.” 

Tune into the live broadcast to celebrate the power of design and toast the success of our 2023 winners. Register here.

DBA Design Effectiveness Awards 2023: Winners Shortlist

Business Consultancy Project title
Peter’s Yard B&B studio Peter’s Yard rebrand
Retail Trust Baggi Retail Trust purpose and brand identity
Solar Energy UK  Brand Ethos Solar Energy UK rebrand
Purdey’s BrandOpus Purdey’s brand redesign
Diageo Bulletproof Smirnoff Raspberry Crush
Mondelēz International – Australia Bulletproof Cadbury 100 campaign
Diageo Butterfly Cannon Black Dog Scotch Whisky redesign
Gordon & MacPhail Contagious Gordon & MacPhail redesign
Diageo Dolmen Design & Innovation Guinness NitroSurge
Avast Else Avast digital experience redesign
Company of Animals Family (and friends) Pet Head brand revitalisation
The Fitzwilliam Museum Holmes Studio Hockney’s Eye 
Haleon Interbrand London Poligrip redesign 
Skin Sapiens Lewis Moberly Skin Sapiens brand and packaging
Husasmidjan M Worldwide Husasmidjan retail store design
Metro M Worldwide Metro convenience retail store design
Sigtún Thróunarfélag M Worldwide Selfoss Town Centre
Nuud Mother Design Nuud re-brand
Eichhof Pearlfisher Eichhof Beer redesign
Takamaka Rum Pearlfisher Takamaka Rum rebrand
Philips Foundation Philips Experience Design The High-Risk Pregnancy Referral Tool
Lloyds Banking Group SpaceInvader Lloyds Bank, 399 Oxford Street
LUSU The Engine Room LUSU naming and branding

For more information about the DBA Design Effectiveness Awards head here.

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Main Content

  • What’s good for individuals, the business, and creativity might be different, and at odds with each other.
  • One member was particularly struck by the ambient learning that younger recruits don’t get when people aren’t in the studio. 
  • They talked about creative ideas needing persistence, and the nuances you pick up in body language that come from bouncing off each other in-person. They were concerned that as an industry selling people and ideas, could fully remote work have a negative effect on the work we create, and wondered if we were losing ideas that will take us from being just a good agency to being an outstanding one. 
  • For another member, they found their creative directors struggling with working online in the long-term, and what they really needed was time together in-person. Rather than making certain days in the office compulsory, they worked to create an experience that people wanted to come in for. Adding kitchen staples to their weekly shop, the team enjoy lunches together, and for people experiencing financial pressures that makes a difference.
  • There was a discussion around the importance of leadership teams showing up and setting a positive example and mindset. 
  • In-studio experiences also included agency-wide training – Laughology were recommended for all-team in-person training sessions on positivity and adopting a growth mindset.
  • We covered the importance of connection and how shared stories build community and purpose where people feel they belong – something that appears to remain important to us all no matter what age – I recommended this show to watch – purpose and community are among the things that will keep us alive for longer.
  • One member has purposely recruited high-energy individuals who thrive on social connection, one of whom has become a cheerleader for being in the studio and that’s helped the whole team see the importance of this.
  • There were suggestions around creating a studio space that is welcoming and well designed – this is especially important for those who might not have the space at home to comfortably work. 
  • Yet another member is working almost exclusively remotely with colleagues and feels more connected to their team than they ever have before – note the team is six people and all are senior.

Our Members’ Forum takes place on the first Monday of each month, at 4 – 5pm. If you would like to attend, get in touch here

Our next Members’ Forum will be taking place on Monday 3 April at 4pm BST.

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A roundup of industry expertise, exclusive resources, business support and tools for your design business.

21/02/2024


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Read more >>

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