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Are Graphene Companies Missing Out on R&D Tax Credits?

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Friday, August 16, 2019

Technology-based start-up companies typically have teams that know a great deal about the underlying technology and may have fully educated themselves on the commercial markets that they’re targeting for their products. However, knowing the intricacies of different funding mechanisms, or the finer points of corporate tax law, typically are not their strengths.

For the past 22 years, Leyton has been offering an international portfolio of clients a way to maximize the government funding initiatives that are available to them that they may not even be aware of.

Recently, Leyton became a Corporate Member of The Graphene Council and this gave us the opportunity to ask them about their business and what they can do for companies that are trying to succeed in commercializing graphene. Here is our interview with David Marinofsky – Senior R&D Tax Consultant at Leyton.

Q: Can you explain a bit of how your company works and what you provide your clients?

A: Leyton is a global innovation funding consultancy dedicated to helping our clients improve their business performance through utilization of research and development (R&D) tax credits. Our in-house  team  of  highly  experienced  scientists,  engineers,  tax  consultants  and  attorneys produce innovative and sustainable strategies to achieve the maximum eligible financial return, without impacting on a company’s core business or security. We save our clients’ time and generate a tax benefit while maintaining the highest quality of service. We achieve this by adapting to our clients’ environment and time constraints, and by minimizing their involvement, so they can stay focused on their core functions. Leyton only charges a fee if a credit is identified. We follow a clear methodology built on tested know-how and in full compliance with current legislation.

 Q: Essentially, then, your company assists innovative companies in reclaiming R&D tax credits. Could you outline the countries and regions that offer R&D tax credits for companies in the graphene sector?

A: R&D tax credits are offered globally, and can be applicable to various industries, including Material Science, Aerospace, Energy, Electronics, Medical Applications, Automotive, Construction, and many more. Companies developing the graphene material itself, new graphene-based processes or graphene-based products, will all be eligible, irrespective of what industry they operate in. Thanks to Leyton’s 25 regional offices in 11 countries, we are able to work closely with our clients, while our international presence gives us a strong global footprint, diverse sector expertise and the ability to benefit our clients on a global scale.

Q: How can companies take advantage of these tax strategies? What is required to qualify?

A: Regardless of industry, size, or revenue, any business that performs activities that meet the following four-part test may qualify for R&D tax credits:

1)    Technical Uncertainty: An activity performed to eliminate technical uncertainty encountered in the development or improvement of a product or process, which includes techniques, formulations, and inventions.

2)    Process of Experimentation: Activities undertaken to eliminate technical uncertainty where one or more alternatives are evaluated and is typically performed through modeling, simulation, systematic trial and error, or other methods.

3)    Technological in Nature: The process of experimentation fundamentally relies upon the hard sciences, such as chemistry, engineering, physics, biology, or computer science.

4)    Qualified Purpose: The research and development is performed with the purpose of creating new or improved product(s) or process(es) (computer software included) that results in increased performance, function, reliability, or quality.

 Q: Do you have an estimate of how much tax credits can a company might recoup based on their revenues or size?

A: A company’s size or revenue are not main determinants of the credit. Typically the best indicators are the amount of technical salaries and research and development related consumables that are incurred by a company during any given fiscal year. The bigger the pot of qualifying expenditures, the larger the credit will typically be. At the Federal level it is typically around 10% of the qualifying expenditure identified per year, but it is not always a simple 10% calculation due to the incremental nature of the credit. This credit can be used to reduce your current year tax bill, creates a refund if you are submitting on an amended return or can be carried forward for up to 20 years.

 A further determining factor can be in what state the company is located. Many states offer their own R&D credit with the qualifying criteria typically matching that of the Federal credit. As each state has control of their credit, the rates of return will vary but can be at the same level as the federal credit. The great thing is, the state and federal credits are separate, so you can claim them both together!

 A further thing to take note of is that there is an alternative way to realize the credit for qualified small businesses. As early stage companies who were highly innovative but incurring losses could not benefit from the standard credit, the payroll credit was brought into effect. The qualifying activities and expenditures remain the same, as does the amount of credit you receive. However, instead of reducing your income tax liability, which you don’t have, you are able to reduce (and potentially eliminate) your quarterly payroll tax bill. The great thing is, these companies nearly always have employees and a payroll tax bill!

 Q: Do you have an example of how some innovation companies have benefited from your services?

Companies have benefited directly by having the ability to put additional funds back into their business allowing them to hire additional staff, purchase new equipment, or securing a valuable tax credit to reduce their future tax bill. Our experience has shown that this is a perfect benefit for companies no matter what their current stage of growth. Any way to create additional funding is vital for businesses and we understand that, we also understand that your business should be your focus. That is why at Leyton we constantly monitor market developments to provide the most up-to-date funding solutions for our clients, delivered as efficiently as possible.

If anyone has any further questions about our services, our contact details and social media links are covered below:

  Website: www.leyton.com

Email: dmarinofsky@leyton.com

Phone: +1 (347) 417 – 0970.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/leytonusa/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LeytonUSA

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/leyton-usa/

DISCLAIMER: The Graphene Council does not have ANY financial interest in, and does NOT receive any commissions, participation or any other remuneration connected to Leyton client engagements. Please contact Leyton directly for information on how to obtain R&D Tax Credits. 

Tags:  funding  investment  start-ups  tax credits 

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Graphene IP Portfolio Made Available

Posted By Dexter Johnson, IEEE Spectrum, Tuesday, August 6, 2019
Updated: Thursday, August 1, 2019


Seattle, WA-based Allied Inventors (AI) is a $600M fund that has invested in early-stage technologies to help address industrial challenges. AI manages over 5,000 intellectual property assets in technology areas such as graphene, medical platforms, energy storage, and semiconductors. 

Now AI is looking to monetize its graphene IP portfolio consisting of 87 patents and pending applications through licenses or sale of the patent package. Over 91% of the patent portfolio has been granted in multiple jurisdictions including the US, China, Germany Japan, and India.

AI curated their technology portfolio by partnering with a large network of inventors from well-known universities, research institutions, and companies. In developing its graphene IP portfolio, AI sourced novel technologies relevant to producing quality large scale graphene, detecting graphene defects, and using graphene for a variety of applications.  The resulting IP portfolio consists of patents related to graphene manufacture and graphene applications like batteries, filtration, and nanoparticle composites. 

In one manufacturing process patent (US Patent 8,828,193 and 14/459,860), this technology is an electromagnetic radiation process that can operate at low temperatures and offers a way to rapidly produce graphene from graphite oxide on an industrial scale. Another patent (US Patent 15/313,855) involves the process of and system for converting carbon dioxide into graphene by focusing light beam on it.

In addition to graphene manufacturing patents, the portfolio includes technologies for making graphene-based materials. One of the patents (US Patent 9,944,774) is a simple and cost-effective process for forming graphene wrapped carbon nanotube based polymer composites. These composites can be used for strain sensing applications such as structural health monitoring.

Another patent (US Patent 9,499,410) describes a method for making metal oxide-graphene composites. The technology is based on a solvo-thermal process that can synthesize a variety of metal oxide-graphene composites. It is a simple one-step method for use in applications such as batteries and capacitors. 

“Our carefully-curated graphene portfolio has a wide range of important technologies for the manufacture and application of high quality graphene. This portfolio would be beneficial to companies in the graphene space that are interested in enhancing the value of their technology portfolio,” said Norman Ong, Business Analyst for AI. “While the preference is to monetize the entire IP portfolio, we would be open to exploring different options.” 

Ong invites any organization that is interested in the graphene IP portfolio to visit their website and to contact them directly at info@alliedinventors.com.

 

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DISCLOSURE: The Graphene Council has NO INTEREST in the referenced patents and has no financial gain from the sale or license of any of the above referenced patents. This article is provided for informational purposes only and you are requested to contact the patent owners directly. 

Tags:  batteries  graphene production  Investment  sensors 

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