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Innovative Trends In Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Just a few short months ago most of us hadn’t even heard of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), but COVID-19 has turned it into a hot topic.

Barrie Dowsett

Chief Executive Officer


5 minute read

Just a few short months ago most of us hadn’t even heard of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), but COVID-19 has turned it into a hot topic. Globally, demand is outstripping supply with many organisations in the medical and social care sectors struggling with shortages. This has been exacerbated by many new types of businesses now needing PPE when they weren’t before, such as shops, logistics organisations and supermarkets.

For decades, workplace safety has been a major driver in the market for industrial protective clothing fabrics. PPE has continually evolved to keep millions of employees safe as the last line of defence against injury and death; and COVID-19 has certainly put this to the test.

Innovative developments in new PPE products are crucial in this new and unsettling world of coronavirus. The market has grown and diversified fast on the back of it, in line with stringent governmental regulations, intense demand and extensive investments in research and development.

How innovation is moving PPE forward

When it comes to PPE there have been some notable advances in recent years, accelerated of course by COVID-19. Here we look at some of them:

PPE clothing that’s lightweight and breathable

Typical PPE wearers like nurses, doctors and surgeons have a physically demanding job working long hours in warm hospitals. This has brought about a wave of innovation in face-shield and garment design. Important steps forward in environmentally controlled PPE are being made that help the body’s core temperature stay consistent to ensure that workers don’t become hot and uncomfortable.

Better eye protection

Eye protection is vital for a lot more than warding off projectiles. Innovative new eye protection solutions consist of a seal made of foam which holds the eyeglass frames closely to the face. Not only does this prevent dust and contaminants from getting in the eyes, but the foam puts less pressure on the wearer’s face. It’s also important that the vision and movements of the wearer aren’t negatively affected either. Anti-fog technology is a massive advantage for workers who need a clear field of vision for example.

Improvements in the fabric make up

Protective clothing needs to be made from fabric that’s incredibly tough and can withstand anything that’s thrown at it. It’s essential that they protect the wearer from adverse elements and contact with hazards, including flames, extreme heat, arc flash and molten metal for instance. Innovative work continues on a variety of material types in numerous hazardous settings, namely Polyolefin and blends, polyamide, PBI, aramid and blends, UHMW polyurethane and others.

Wearable technology

Wearable technology has become prevalent in many areas of our lives - smartwatches and FitBits being just two examples. However, wearable technology also plays a crucial role in PPE, for enhancing safety management and increasing productivity in the workplace. The sensors they contain are now able to monitor factors like chemical levels, gas, sound and UV, alerting the wearer to danger so that preventative steps can be taken in time. Not only that, but wearable technology has actually been shown to generate long-term cost savings by preventing accidents from occurring.

Has your business undergone an innovative research and development project recently?

Whether it’s in PPE or something completely unrelated, all Irish businesses that have recently created a new product, service or process can benefit from R&D Tax Credits. Plus, even companies that have appreciably upgraded something that already exists can apply - you don’t have to have built something from scratch.

What are R&D Tax Credits?

The R&D Tax Credits scheme allows for innovative companies based in Ireland to claim a portion of their research and development expenditure back from Revenue. For companies that have made a profit, the benefit is offered as a reduction in Corporation Tax, while loss-making ones can get a lump sum amount instead.

It’s a sizeable tax break too, especially as companies have up to 12 months from the end of the relevant accounting period to make their claim. It represents a potential 25% refund of costs incurred, in essence meaning companies incurring qualifying R&D spend can claim a refund of up to €25 for every €100 of expenditure on R&D. Plus, the extra good news is that R&D Tax Credits can be claimed in addition to the 12.5% Corporation Tax deduction for any qualifying expenditure. Therefore, the total tax benefit is 37.5%, i.e 12.5% standard Corporation Tax rate plus 25% R&D Tax Credit. Yes - €37.50 in total can be claimed for every €100 of R&D expenditure. Very generous indeed!


To qualify, the R&D activity must be:

  • In a field technology or science
  • Involve either basic or applied research
  • Experimental, systematic or investigative
  • Look to resolve a specific technological or scientific uncertainty

But applying isn’t easy…

Although the scheme is open to all Irish companies liable for Corporation Tax, the application itself is complex. It’s also very easy to overlook eligible costs which leads to under-claiming, whilst over-claiming can land you in serious hot water with Revenue.

R&D Tax Credits are also a very niche and highly specialised area of accounting. Identifying eligible costs isn’t always straightforward and it’s also important to account for certain types of expenditure accurately. Incorrectly filing a document is another pitfall, and it’s also essential to understand how R&D Tax Credits interact with other tax legislation. These are just a few of the obstacles you’ll have to face.

This is where Myriad Associates can help

Myriad Associates is a leading R&D Tax Credits specialist with many years of experience under our belts. Our team will deliver optimised, intelligent R&D Tax Credit claims, as well as Enterprise Ireland and Horizon 2020 grant bid writing services where required.

From beginning to end, we will guide you through the process of claiming R&D Tax Credits for maximum success. Based in Dublin, we have clients all over Ireland and the UK, and with our competitive, results-only pricing you know you’re in good hands.

Contact us on +353 1 566 2001 or drop us a message and see how much your business could claim today. No matter what advice you need about any aspect of R&D Tax Credits, we will provide it. If successful, your business could end up thousands of euros better off - so why risk missing out?

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