If you have a brilliant idea but lack the in-house expertise to take it to the next level, you might want to consider partnering with a Research Service Provider (RSP). RSPs are specialised organisations that offer scientific and technical services to help you innovate, develop, and commercialise new products, processes, or services. RSPs come in various forms, including universities, government research organisations, industry bodies, and private R&D entities. They can be instrumental in driving your R&D efforts forward, and the costs can be included in R&D Tax Incentive claims.

Reasons to use a Research Service Provider when doing R&D

When you engage RSPs to perform R&D activities on your behalf, you gain several advantages:

  • Access to Expertise: Access to a deep pool of knowledge and talent, providing you with the specialised skills required for your R&D projects.
  • Advanced Facilities: By utilising their state-of-the-art facilities, you can accelerate your R&D efforts without the upfront investment in infrastructure.
  • Knowledge Sharing: Collaboration with RSPs can lead to valuable knowledge transfer, enabling you to tap into the latest technology, research methodologies, and best practices.
  • Reduced Risk: RSPs bring experience and a track record of success to your projects, helping to reduce the inherent risks of R&D.

Most, if not all, of the expenditure incurred to a RSP is eligible under the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI) program, which can provide a refundable tax offset equal to your corporate tax rate plus an additional premium rate of 18.5%.

RSPs are registered under the RDTI program and therefore, must have the appropriate staff and facilities to provide R&D services in their chosen research fields. If you engage an RSP, you can be confident that they will manage, conduct, and document the R&D activities in a way that is compliant with the RDTI program. You will retain control of the R&D activities, and the right to use the results.

Better yet, money spent on RSP services is not subject to the $20,000 minimum threshold you ordinarily need to meet to access the RDTI program.

Selecting the Right Research Service Provider for your R&D project

Here are some tips for assessing a RSPs technical capabilities:

  • Review their areas of technical expertise – Do they align with your industry and types of R&D projects? Read bios of their key technical staff to assess their skills.
  • Ask about their prior experience with similar R&D projects in your field. Request examples of past technical work.
  • Discuss the specifics of your R&D plans with them. Gauge their level of understanding and insight into the technical challenges.
  • Assess their ability to provide equipment, testing, data analysis or other technical resources to actively participate in the R&D if needed.
  • Consider visiting their facilities to view their technical setup and meet engineering/science teams in-person.
  • Ask what types of technical evidence they can provide to substantiate the R&D activities
  • Request references from clients they have collaborated with on technical R&D projects previously.
  • Look for relevant technical certifications, accreditations, published papers or patents as markers of technical competence.

You can see the full list of registered RSPs available in each state here.

Not sure where to start? NOAH Connect has relationships with several RSPs across different areas of expertise. Get in touch to tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll point you in the right direction.