Sign up to BQ Breakfast to receive our daily news service:

Tech firm's lab expansion

Monday 10 December 2012 5:00

A technology firm which supplies pressure sensing material to companies across the world, including NASA and Samsung, has opened a new laboratory as it looks to become the market leader in its field.

Peratech, based in Richmond, North Yorkshire, has opened the lab following the savings it hopes to make as a result of submitting a tax claim for continued research and development (R&D).

The firm is being advised by Darlington-basd accountants and business advisers, Clive Owen & Co LLP, which specialises in supporting technology companies.

Peratech is behind technology known as QTCs (Quantum Tunnelling Composites) - ultra-thin, pressure sensing materials which change resistance when force is applied.

The material can be used in every day products such as credit cards and mobile phones, as well as industries such as defence and robotics.

The company won a Queen’s Award for Innovation in September for its role in developing and manufacturing the material and last month was presented with a NASA Tech Brief Award for helping to create the humanoid robonaut, with its material allowing the robot finger tip sensitivity.

It has also worked with Samsung to put QTC into mobile phone keypads adding three dimensions of input to provide better and more intuitive touch interfaces.

Peratech opened the lab in order to improve its research facilities so it can continue to develop the unique technology.  It was helped by the tax team at Clive Owen & Co which submitted a claim for them relating to their continued development of the material.

Clive Owen, which has offices in Durham, Darlington and York, has taken steps to strengthen its R&D services by teaming up with business and enterprise experts from Teesside University.

The partnership means clients are able to submit more robust R&D claims and achieve a higher success rate.

Doug Balderston, director at Peratech, said: “Our business is based on innovation and a major part of that is our investment in research and development.  The tax reliefs for innovation are a great boost to our business and Clive Owen & Co’s team makes the most of this for us.

“We provide small amounts of the product we develop and send it to companies all over the world.  As our technology advances we will be in a strong position to become the market leader in our field.  Being able to take advantage of tax breaks that support the nature of our business means we can re-invest in the facilities we need to ensure our research and development progresses even further.”

Nicola Bellerby, tax partner with Clive Owen & Co, said: “It’s satisfying to be able to give clients this type of support.  By working closely with Peratech we can understand their business and ensure we advise them of any opportunities during the year.

“The nature of their operation is such that they constantly need to look long term, so by submitting a claim it has enabled them to have the confidence to improve and expand their research facilities.  The government is encouraging research and development so we are excited to see how this recent expansion will make a difference in the future.”