1813 Club and Premier Members

1813 Club and Premier Members

Greater Birmingham’s leading companies

Innovation is still a priority for the UK Government, experts at Crowe believe. Corporate tax partner Stuart Weekes said that the

New chair (from left): Vicky Waters, Suzie Branch-Haddow and Andy Argyle

New chair to lead

college initiative An employer-education initiative located at Matthew Boulton College in Birmingham has a new chair. Vicky Waters of BNP Paribas

Personal Finance has succeeded KPMG’s Andy Argyle as chair of Greater Birmingham Professional Service Academy (GBPSA). GBPSA works with the city’s

professional and financial firms to help them recruit and nurture talent, which is does using internships, apprenticeships, work placements and various other education- business partnership activities. Ms Waters, who is BNP’s head of

talent, career and development, said: “I am honoured to be the new chair of the academy, which holds such an important place in the local community. “Andy has been extremely

influential in his role and has left a huge imprint that I am sure will help make it easier for me to build on. I endeavour to use my skills and experience to help move the academy forward and am looking forward to doing so.” Mr Argyle, who has stepped

down after six years, said: “My role as chair has been an extremely rewarding experience. I have thoroughly enjoyed working in the role which plays a significant part in bridging the gap for thousands of people seeking business related opportunities. “I truly believe in the academy

and am happy that the relationship with KPMG will continue, meaning that I will still have the opportunity to be part of the invaluable venture.”

40 CHAMBERLINK April 2020

recent Budget had underlined that the government was keen to stick to its targets of promoting research and development by developing its partnership with the private sector. He said that the announcement that there would

be £22bn of public investment by 2024-25 in people and ideas would be welcomed by businesses in qualifying sectors. Among beneficiaries is the research facility that is

trying to find a treatment for Covid-19, which will attract direct investment. Life sciences in general are to be championed by

providing additional funding through the British Business Bank. Other beneficiaries will be industries working on nuclear fusion for clean energy, space and electric car industries. Mr Weekes added that the private sector had been

rewarded with an increase in the R&D Expenditure Credit (RDEC) but this typically benefited large companies, not the multitude of innovative small or medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Crowe said that R&D tax credits were one of the

most generous tax incentives available to innovative companies who invested employee time and money on

Premier Membership

Contact: Gary Birch T: 0845 6036650

Budget shows innovation is still a priority for the UK

developing new and improved products or processes. However, the increases to the these benefits were

low – but Crowe said that even the announcement that the scheme would continue was to be welcomed, given the fact that had Labour been elected, it would have been phased out. Mr Weekes said that another development was the

decision by the Government to invest in a a new blue- skies agency, thus copying a model used in the US.

‘Life sciences in general are to be championed by providing additional funding’

He said: “Modelled on the Advanced Research

Projects Agency, this will presumably be used to develop emerging technologies. “It has great ambition and it is important to focus

attention on the experts but will the Government also ensure that commercialisation of the technologies is handled by experts so that the benefit of this investment is not lost? “If handled by those less experienced, this could

result in a waste of UK innovation. Interesting perhaps that there were no announcements to the UK’s patent box.”

Aiding Russian recruitment drive

Back in the USSR: Deniss Saporenko

A Burton-based consultancy has been helping recruit Russian students for Birmingham City University (BCU). Deniss Saporenko from Uniq Tech

Ltd recently visited one of Russia’s biggest education fairs – the Moscow International Education Show – to identify potential students. Mr Saporenko – whose business

also helps British companies who want to compete in the Russian market – said up to now BCU had not had any representation in the former communist state. He said: “This was an amazing opportunity to meet face-to-face with Russian students who would like to study in UK. At the moment, there are around 2,600 higher education students from Russia who study in UK. “The education sector makes a substantial contribution to the UK

economy. According to the 2017 Oxford Economics report, the higher education sector alone generates £95bn for the UK economy and supports almost 1 million jobs across the country. “The contribution of international

students is not limited to their tuition fees, but also includes their (and their visitors) substantial off- campus spending. “Leaving aside the economic

factors, international students also contribute to the UK in helping to develop cultural and business links between countries. The Russian market has the 11th largest nominal GDP in the world.” The Moscow International

Education Show is one of the most popular in Russia, attracting more than 4,000 participants, including educational establishments from foreign countries.

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