The B4 finance debate, brought to you in association with Wenn Townsend

Our latest Finance Lunch in association with local accountants, Wenn Townsend, saw TBAT Innovation visit the B4 offices with MD Matt Symonds and Brian McGregor who is developing TBAT’s recently launched Oxford presence. Lee Baker of Wenn Townsend was our host

Based in the East Midlands and with clients throughout the UK, TBAT are a niche independent consultancy working with technology/R&D focused companies. The TBAT team are highly skilled and experienced individuals that come together to deliver exciting grant funding, R&D tax credit and consultancy projects for their clients. With an exceptional track record, TBAT’s honest and pragmatic approach is their key ingredient.

Managing Director Matt Symonds added. “We started back in 2002 – we used to be called ‘The Business Advice Team’ and after extensive rebranding we changed to TBAT. I have been with the company since 2007. Myself and two co-directors own the business.

“Our Head Office at Castle Donington is just down the road from East Midlands airport and is bursting at the seams. As a board of directors we sat down and discussed how we could expand, whether it would be north or south. We did lots of research and decided on Oxfordshire and have appointed Brian and Rebecca McDowell to develop our presence here.

“We now have an address at Milton Park and our aspiration is to grow a delivery team down here in Oxford, copying what we have in the Castle Donington office. We’re in it for the long term to establish TBAT in Oxfordshire.

“We are a very agile business with a team of 25 who cover everything from material science to genetics to aerospace. We don’t profess to know every technology out there but we can service a broad range of clients. The TBAT team has a varied set of backgrounds (ranging from mechanical/aero engineering, opto-electronic research, genetics, through to chemistry and economics with organisations such as Rolls-Royce, Bombardier Transportation, Toshiba Research, BAE Systems and Alstom Power) that allow them to effectively support a wide range of projects. My personal background is aerospace engineering for Rolls Royce and then I went into programme management and then went to Bombardier for a while in the rail sector.

“We are extremely professional, open and honest with clients and genuinely passionate about informing and supporting people to enable their organisations succeed. Our informal culture allows for strong long-lasting collaboration with our clients.

“We fundamentally help R&D and Tech companies get cash to do more development work. So whether it’s grant funding at the front end from people like Innovate UK or Horizon 2020 or whether it’s a tax break at the end of a project to give you cash back into your business to do more interesting projects, then that’s what we are all about.

“Our key focus is grants and R&D tax credits but we are also looking at accessing private investment for our clients. Grants will normally give you a maximum of 70% of the cost of your development project so clients are always looking for that missing 30% and we’re looking to help them source it.

“We used to do a lot of business and marketing strategy work, what I would call traditional consultancy work, and we have used that commercial background and leveraged it to help our clients grow.

“We adopt a more strategic approach by helping to raise the funds and ensure it is used correctly. We have ex-PwC accountants in the team so we can help our clients manage the funds we help to raise. We have purely technology based and purely finance based staff so between us we come up with a well thought out solution.”

Lee Baker: “I think it’s great you provide a more rounded service – we don’t have the technical expertise that TBAT have and it’s sometimes the right advice to get a specialist in like TBAT to help.”

See TBAT at BIO2019 on 6th June at MINI PLANT OXFORD.



Thinking about accessing grant funding but don’t know how; don’t have the time; or you’re worried about getting it right?

We work with you to support the bid writing process, to give you the best chance of accessing the most suitable grant funding for your organisation, allowing you to remain focused on the day-to-day.

Our team of experienced bid writers have a proven track record and a 76% success rate across a vast range of funding schemes and can assist you in identifying and applying into the right scheme for your project. We have successfully helped our clients be awarded £19.9 million in grants over the last 12 months.


If you are a UK business that has invested in innovation and completed research and development, you could be eligible to claim R&D Tax Credits.

Our aim is to simplify the R&D tax claim process with minimal disruption to your business. We have consultants with expertise in a wide variety of science, engineering, software and healthcare disciplines; therefore, fully understand the science and technology your project is centred around.

We do the work, so you can receive the credit, ‘bridging the technical expertise gap’ between you the Client and your Accountant in order to submit a robust, successful and maximised R&D tax credit claim to HMRC.


Innovate UK administration and claims management can be very intensive. Compiling the technical reports and financial documentation required for your project to qualify for an acceptable claim can be quite a daunting task, as well as understanding what’s needed by the Monitoring Officer may be something that you or your team may not have experienced before.

We have a highly experienced team who’ve worked across the UK and EU grant funding sectors who’re able to guide and support you throughout the setup of the project and the preparation & submission of claim documentation, and how to best prepare the project for reviews with your Monitoring Officer – all ensuring the claim is processed quickly and you get the cash into your account asap after the reporting period.

In-house research support

Due diligence on potential business development opportunities, specific market research, technology positioning and future strategy

Our approach has always been to provide open, honest, evidenced support and direction to our clients. To this end we have become noted for our technical and commercial research capabilities.

What is the TBAT Partnership Programme?

Hopefully, you have already realised that being part of a Partnership can be worth a lot more to your business then any one client. At TBAT, we believe a level of collaboration is key, as the saying goes: Two heads are better than one.

We currently work with accountants, patent agents and solicitors and by doing so, we add value to each other’s clients; and that’s really how the TBAT Partnership programme was born: jointly strengthened offerings, building a comprehensive network of services and providing all clients within the Partnership, the ultimate range of specialist products and services.

In Attendance

Lee Baker, Wenn Townsend Accountants
We are a ten partner, three office accountancy firm, with our main office being in the centre of Oxford and the other two offices in Cirencester and Abingdon. Our specialism is owner-managed businesses. We also have a good stake in the not-for-profit sector also and we have a number of large charity clients as a result. We pride ourselves on the quality of our service.

Sue Rees, Sue Rees Associates Ltd
For the past 20 years I have been supporting board level executives with executive search services for Chief Financial Officers, Finance Directors and Financial Controllers. Within that I specialise in the pharma, biotec and life science industries. I offer a unique and bespoke service that is tailored to each client.

Dene Parker, Search-a-Patent
I run a UK subsidiary of a Swedish intellectual property company. Our client base is split 50% between patent attorneys and 50% with the R&D departments of companies in industry. As our main business is patent searching, we advise companies whether they have a good chance of registering a patent before they go to the time and cost of trying to do so. We also make sure clients are not infringing someone else’s patent.

Joseph Garbett, Garbott Ltd
Specialised web development and now cyber security agency based in Kidlington. We solve problems on clients’ websites, which include High Street banks and financial trading platforms.

Helen Fallon, Global CTS
Global CTS Ltd aims to work with SME’s within the Oxfordshire and Berkshire areas. We deal directly with business owners or senior directors of companies who understand the time and true cost implications of recruiting the wrong person and the knock-on effects this can have on their business.

We aim to help companies achieve their goals and objectives by securing the right calibre of candidate.

Matt Symonds, Managing Director, TBAT
I’m now privileged enough to be the Managing Director and part owner of the company, working with a fantastically talented bunch of people who have the same passion and love for the things I do, working with a brilliant set of clients.

After a number of years in multinationals, I feel TBAT delivers what they struggle to; flexibility, responsiveness, innovation and a chance to develop close working relationships. Every day is different – different client needs, different market and technology challenges – which is incredibly inspirational.

Brian McGregor, Business Development, TBAT
Joined TBAT recently. Based in Castle Donnington for 17 years, TBAT wanted to expand into Oxfordshire and I am heading up the new operation at Milton Park.

I help Financial Directors, Accountants and company directors of innovative businesses receive more money for their company. By assisting with grant applications and R&D Tax credits, TBAT helps your business financially. TBAT are an extension to accountants, not a replacement. While accountants are usually experts in tax and know of R&D tax, TBAT are technologists, experts in R&D tax and know how to maximise your claim saving you time and money.

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