Simple way the Government could help inventors

Finding investors or businesses to help get an inventors idea or product to market is like looking for hens teeth, the real problem is the lack of incentive to invest in an inventor.

I recently came across an article that gave me an idea that could encourage investors to back inventors and it could help UK Plc. at the same time, I have written to MP's from the major parties with the idea but if more people write to their MP's then even the Government may end up listening.


The article is below and my proposal is beneath it.


Inventor Investment Tax Relief

In 2008/09 over £100m of support has been provided for the production of over 170 UK films thanks to the Government's film tax relief. Since its introduction in 2007 film tax relief has been successful in promoting the sustainable production of British films. The relief increases the amount of expenditure in film production that is deductible for tax purposes.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Stephen Timms, said: "The Government is committed to supporting the British film industry and the important role it plays in our economy. Today's figures are excellent news for the industry, highlighting  the success of the UK's film tax relief which is helping to stimulate investment in domestic film production. "Film tax relief will continue to provide valuable assistance to this vibrant sector over the coming years."


Minister for the Creative Industries, Siôn Simon, said: "The UK has been responsible for some tremendously successful films in the past year, both artistically and at the box office.  Without film tax relief this level of success simply wouldn't be possible, with many of the big hits of recent years never making it into production. "Our thriving film industry creates jobs, attracts overseas investment, brings tourists to the UK and contributes a huge amount to our cultural heritage, so film tax relief is an investment that is repaid many times over".


For a film to be eligible it must qualify as British, either by passing the cultural test administered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, or under an agreed co-production treaty. Additionally, at least 25 per cent of the total production expenditure must be incurred in the UK.


The figures also demonstrate the positive effect of HM Revenue & Customs dedicated Film Tax Credit Unit, which handles claims for the relief. In the past year, over 95 per cent of payments were made within 6 months of the claim being received. This is providing vital support to the UK film industry to ensure it can come through the downturn even stronger than before.

MY PROPOSAL

If a similar scheme was introduced for investors in inventors then the opportunities would be substantial, by making investment in inventors and their inventions more attractive then more products would get to market. There could be different classes of products, if a product is developed in the UK but eventually made abroad then a lower level of credit could be given than would be eligible for products developed and manufactured in the UK. This would provide jobs and generate tax revenues through employment and sales that generate VAT income, then there is work created for patent lawyers and accountants as well as the creation of new companies all adding new strings to the UK's bow.

Many inventors have an idea that they cannot afford to develop and take to market, by offering an incentive for people to invest in these individuals then it could lead to products that would never have been seen. As well as an incentive for investing in a product there could be another incentive for investing in serial inventors, one individual product that could create opportunities and make a substantial return is the Austin StairAid because the inventor would have had extreme difficulty without help from Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council. The rail should sell for over £700 a time and could be fitted in all new builds or retrofitted in older homes, the manufacture will be based in the UK to ensure a custom fit, so thats fabricators, installers, sales, lawyers etc. that should all benefit from one product from an inventor.

This opportunity could be repeated if investment in inventors was encouraged in a similar way to the Government's film tax relief, the promotion of British inventions and inventors would create business opportunities, work opportunities and generate income for UK Plc.

All inventions created and patented in the UK have the potential to create work and generate tax revenues at a time when the country needs to recover from the current economic climate, the UK has a poor track record when it comes to helping inventors and the time is ideal for a change in current policy.