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Northumberland Sustainable Space Specialist NORSS Claims Back £10k for Innovation

An Alnwick-headquartered sustainable space specialist NORSS has received £10,000 in research and development (R&D) tax credits, thanks to the innovation demonstrated in its projects.

Opening sustainable opportunities in outer space for businesses, the government and the public, NORSS was formed in 2017 and specialises in Space Situational Awareness (SSA) and Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST), as well as providing ‘military grade expertise’ on the things that matter to the space sector.

Founder and Executive Director Ralph “Dinz” Dinsley, a retired RAF officer with more than 32 years in military service as an Aerospace Battle Manager, formed NORSS to utilise his unparalleled expertise in space surveillance and tracking.

NORSS’s projects focus on researching the ability to track objects better in space and developing their own capability to do it, using a mixture of hardware and software, so R&D was evident across the business. On one occasion they were contracted by the MoD to develop and deploy a software system to automatically track any objects that moved in space, with NORSS providing the practical and operational expertise for the software and its usership. This software was completely new to the market.

R&D tax returns were secured by the firm’s advisers, R&D tax specialists Access2Funding, who identified all aspects of the business’ recent projects that qualified for research and development relief.

Daniel Hunter, R&D Client Account Manager, said: “We’ve been able to supply NORSS with essential funds to ensure the space sector continues to progress and innovate. It was fascinating working on the claim for Dinz!”

Dinz said: “The money received from our R&D claim covered the majority of our corporation tax and will be reinvested into the company to do more R&D. My vision is to be able to provide as much information and detail to people on the sustainability of space to maximise the business return from utilising data from space, as well as helping to support the government. I want to democratise data of space as we do with data from space.

“I’m looking forward to our next claim as we have done a lot more R&D in the last 12 months!”

R&D tax credits are an HMRC incentive to encourage UK businesses to continue to grow by innovating. The incentive being a reduction in corporation tax or a cash payment.

If a business is seeking to resolve a scientific or technological uncertainty within its projects by creating new processes, products or services (or amending existing ones) then they could be performing R&D without realising it.

Findings from the latest ‘Size and Health of the UK Space Industry 2020’ report, commissioned by the UK Space Agency and delivered by know.space, show the sector supports a highly skilled and productive workforce that’s growing across the country. The statistics show that in 2018/19, compared to the previous survey from 2016/17, R&D investment now sits at £702 million, up 18% and five times the national average intensity.

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