ABEC Smart Hub Platform
ABEC is one the UK’s leading independent Building and Energy Management Systems (BEMS) specialists. The company has a strong reputation for providing efficient energy solutions to a diverse portfolio of clients in the computing, healthcare, education and other sectors. ABEC undertakes the full range of BEMS services including design, development, installation, maintenance and refurbishments. As a forward thinking, innovative organisation, ABEC is always pursuing new technology in the areas of Building Analytics, IoT (Internet of Things) and highly energy efficient control systems design. ABEC has also developed a proprietary Smart Hub technology which will drive future optimisations in energy efficiency for their clients.
ABEC employs a diverse mix of technologists, engineers and technicians who are well versed and highly skilled in the field of BEMS. The team has leading technology expertise with various BEMS platforms such as Trend, Tridium, Siemens, Schneider, Cylon and Delta to name a few. The work performed by the team is two-fold – internal innovation to develop technologies for the future; and development of large-scale design, development and implementation for customer projects.
ABEC had previously made R&D Tax Credit claims; however, the claims did not realise full potential as they did not appreciate the full extent of potentially qualifying R&D activities. The existing internal process relied on a few individuals; and was not able to utilize the power of data available internally fully. As a result, claims were understated.
Invenics reviewed ABEC’s previous claims and identified several areas for optimization on a no obligation basis. Following this, we were engaged to provide assistance in preparing R&D claims for the company.
Invenics initiated the process of preparing R&D claims by collecting data from various internal sources such as timesheet records, organograms and project management system records. Following this, a detailed model was developed to establish the areas of work that were internally funded and those that were performed on behalf of customers. This led to the development of a robust costing model for the claim.
Following this, a number of technical review sessions were organized with the key technical staff at ABEC. The BEIS guidelines on the meaning of R&D for tax purposes were discussed in detail to develop the understanding of how R&D eligibility rules can be applied to different types of work. The more routine implementation projects were excluded from assessment; while the projects which were aiming to achieve significant technological advances were assessed in detail. The company’s work towards hypothetically developing a Niagara-powered controller hardware with well-evolved SCADA software for achieving automated, high-precision control of temperature and humidity is one example of a highly innovative R&D project. Work to create the Smart Hub technology platform as an event-driven SoA architecture using IoT-capable industrial controllers as on-site gateways and interfacing them with third party HMI/SCADA7 software and IoT frameworks was another highly innovative project reviewed as part of the claim.
The Invenics team prepared highly technical reports outlining the areas of R&D and conformance with the eligibility criteria. The overall report explaining the methodology and reasons for increase in claim value was submitted to HMRC and the claim was approved within a few weeks.
ABEC benefited from a substantial increase in the claim value due to the robust methodology and detailed review performed. At the same time, the company’s R&D process has improved substantially leading to better quality.
Matthew Litten, Director of ABEC – “The Consultants from Invenics demonstrated a deep technical understanding of the field and were able to guide us clearly regarding which activities qualified for the R&D claim. We felt confident in the methodology and increased claim value means we are in a better position to invest further into the development of our Smart Hub technology. R&D tax credits is a strong incentive for companies like us to innovate and promote the green agenda and sustainability”.