My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State has had no recent discussions on this subject. Research and development (R&D) tax credits are already available for qualifying costs of R&D, as defined under the DTI’s guidelines of 5 March 2004. The Department has sought to make clear the scope of coverage of the guidelines, both in awareness-raising literature published last November (prepared in consultation with HM Treasury and HMRC) and during direct contacts with industry during the normal course of our work.
R&D takes place where an activity seeks to achieve an advance in science or technology through the resolution of scientific or technological uncertainty. Design can be R&D and when it is, R&D tax credits are available.