R&D support

Newcastle-based technology group, Inotek Antennas, is expected to benefit from restructuring support from RTC North as it plans to expand its operations globally.

The company, which specialises in the design and manufacture of base-station antenna systems, said that demand for next-generation antenna technology had increased despite economic difficulties.

Sumit Uppal, Inotek’s joint managing director, said: ‘It is vital for us to get the correct company structure to exploit growth opportunities in the emerging economies from a low-cost manufacturing base and the wealth of technical experience in the north east.’

The group’s restructuring efforts were given support by the UK Trade & Investment North’s Research-and-Development (R&D) Programme run by RTC North. The scheme has been designed to help UK companies profitably increase their trade-related capacity.

Ray Jones, head of business consulting at RTC North, said: ‘The issues faced by R&D-based companies, such as Inotek, who serve global markets through multi-country operations can be extremely complex. We have to ensure operations transferring their R&D activities into manufactured products are compliant with foreign regulatory environments, while achieving an acceptable level of tax efficiency.

‘The cost of not addressing these issues can mean the difference in some cases between earning profits or making losses.’

According to the UK Trade & Investment, the R&D programme will allow companies at the SME level to gain access to expertise previously unavailable to them due to its cost. Companies can either be fully funded or can obtain expertise at reduced rates.

David Coppock, UK Trade & Investment’s international trade director for the north east, said: ‘This type of support is highly specialised and has proven extremely welcome to R&D-based businesses that have sought support in developing and commercialising their trade in overseas markets.

‘The assistance given covers all aspects of their R&D activity to ensure successful growth in international trade. What is particularly gratifying is that the feedback from business has been very positive in realising their future R&D ambitions.’