Research and development and innovation
Commitment to R&D+i remains key to business competitiveness and economic growth, to which accredited organizations continue to provide services, participating as collaborator and facilitators of fiscal policies for its promotion.
In this regard, ENAC accreditation is a pivotal element in the functioning of specific Government mechanisms to ensure that companies make more effective use of certain tax breaks for investment in research and development.
In addition, accreditation has an underused potential to boost innovation and knowledge that lies at the very core of its activity: accreditation processes employ technical experts of the most senior level from institutions, research centres and universities.
This allows for interaction between leading research hubs and small businesses (mainly laboratories), facilitating the transfer of knowledge and know-how from public research centres to laboratories and other conformity assessment bodies that provide services directly to industry and government, which benefits society as a whole.
- Certification of R&D+i activity and projects by research staff, in the case of project certification, is a tool made available by the government for companies to incentivise expenditure and investments in R&D+i and technological innovation with tax benefits (as provided in Article 35 of the Corporation Tax Act). To benefit, companies request a reasoned report from the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness outlining the R&D+i content of a given project. This report is binding for the Tax Agency and therefore gives the company legal security when it applies the tax relief to its R&D+i expenditure. Before requesting the reasoned report, the company must have prepared a technical and economic assessment report on the project certified by an organization accredited by ENAC to certify projects in different technological disciplines. For R&D+i activity conducted by research staff, the accredited bodies certify that the staff work exclusively and during all their working hours on R&D+i activities. There is also the possibility of obtaining a reasoned report for reduced social security contributions or corporation tax deductions for this type of activity.
- Certification of R&D+i management systems allowing companies and organisations to improve their management of innovation resources, regardless of their size or economic sector. Capacity for innovation is a resource that companies should manage efficiently. Such management takes the form of a business process designed to organise and direct the available human, technical and financial resources.
- Certification of innovative SMEs and Young Innovative Companies: bodies accredited by ENAC certify the innovative nature of organisations and SMEs. The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness subsequently recognises these organisations with the official "Innovative SME" seal and enters them in the relevant register. They can then benefit from additional tax incentives to those described above. Reduced contributions are fully compatible with the application of the deductions scheme for R&D+i activities for the sameto the investigator.
Thus, given the independence and technical competence demonstrated by Certification Bodies accredited by ENAC, the accreditation system offers Spanish enterprise a reliable tool to demonstrate the innovative component of its projects and activities, while at the same time providing the government with objective and consistent information. All this fosters a climate of confidence and greater certainty both for the companies making investment decisions and for all other stakeholders, which encourages the practical application of policies designed by the public authorities to promote R&D+i through improvements to the financial system and the fiscal framework in support of R&D+i.