Sam Sugden, Financial Controller
Launched in 2016, Vertical Aerospace is one of the world’s leading aerospace manufacturers, designing and building all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
Research & Engineering
120 (December 2020)
Vertical Aerospace is on a mission to revolutionise travel through the creation of electric air taxis. Their flagship aircraft VA-1X is set to be the world’s first all-electric vertical take off and landing aircraft, capable of carrying up to 1 pilot and 4 passengers. Manufacturing is taking place in the UK, with flight testing scheduled for 2021 and commercial flights set to take off in 2024.
Vertical Aerospace has worked with EmpowerRD since their first claim via the RDEC scheme in 2017, and haven’t looked back. With their claim size increasing significantly year on year, and their submission becoming more complex, they’ve required an efficient solution and expert team to fully support their scale-up.
“EmpowerRD is much more than software. Having an expert team in-house, providing advice and guidance throughout the entire claims process, and always being available to jump on a call, is so important for us”
Working with EmpowerRD
Vertical Aerospace has continued to work with EmpowerRD for the ease and efficiency of the online platform, combined with the expertise and guidance of the in-house team. For a claim of their size, they trust EmpowerRD to ensure their claim is fully optimised and protected from any scrutiny from HMRC that can come with larger claims.
Despite working remotely from the team of engineers based at their Bristol headquarters, Sam has found it easy to collaborate with the team within the platform:
“One of the things I find most useful is the online training and allocation of roles and tasks. It saves time for the team as they know exactly what they need to do, and as coordinator of the claim I can keep an eye on progress without having to chase anyone - it cuts out the middleman.”
Having the ability to draw on their past claims within the platform has also been incredibly useful for the team for subsequent submissions:
“Being able to re-use past costs and data has made working on claims from one year to the next really easy. Our claim naturally takes longer each year because of its complexity, but as we’ve grown, we’ve been able to use the platform to build on prior years and evolve our claim and narrative.”
Whilst the platform makes the claiming process faster and easier, it’s the specialist guidance, support and feedback from the EmpowerRD team throughout the entire claiming process that really makes the difference to Sam and his team:
“The platform is great but the human expertise layered on top is vital, especially as our claim size has grown. The team are always around to jump on a call and offer advice.”
“Even if we’re not in the middle of a claim, the team have always been there to answer questions from us throughout the year, for anything we need to think about, or factor into our budget and planning ahead of our next submission.”