UK R&D CASE STUDY: Advanced Materials

A company, specializing in agricultural engineering, used a probe to provide information on the quality of cereals which were transported in sacking. Measurements could only be taken at the top, as anywhere else would damage the sacking. This, however, did not produce representative samples.

A further development arose when the company received orders from Eastern European countries, where the material did not react in the required way in sub-zero temperatures. The company undertook further research to amend the material to meet the requirements of the extreme conditions. The additional expenditure on manufacturing the material was not qualifying but the research costs of amending the material to meet ‘cold weather’ issues again qualified.

The company designed a material which allowed a probe to enter the sacking and which reverted to a sealed surface once the probe was removed. Although the market for this material was limited, it proved extremely successful in overseas markets. For R&D purposes the company incurred qualifying

expenditure in overcoming the uncertainty in developing the material.

In many projects involving advanced materials, the scientific and/or technological uncertainty can be readily identified. However, the use of ‘new’ materials in existing processes may also qualify if it can be shown that the outcome has or was intended to significantly improve efficiency, for example, significantly reduce waste.

Source: CRA (Canada Revenue Agency)


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