Technology has been evolving ever since man first learned to use stones as tools, but never has it seen such rapid development as it did in recent years.
Today, the world is in the 4th industrial revolution, a time dominated by artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, aeronautics, and other innovative industries.
Not only have the rules changed – we are now playing an entirely different game. And businesses that fail to keep up with the changing times will either fall behind or completely disappear into obscurity and irrelevance.
In Canada, as with the rest of the world, it is crucial for companies to recognize upcoming technological trends. This will help them understand and leverage opportunities as they emerge.
The federal government, through the Scientific Research and Experimental Development program, is always ready to help innovative businesses reach new heights.
The SR&ED program supports research and development R&D activities with much potential for groundbreaking discoveries, much like the ones below:
SR&ED Grants Canada for Emerging AI-as-a-Service Platforms
Artificial intelligence or AI has significantly changed the business landscape. And yet, we have barely scratched the surface.
Companies all over the world are only starting to explore the impact of AI in their daily operations. It offers a wide range of benefits, from streamlining business processes to enhancing customer experience.
But as businesses are still learning to live with AI-based applications, designing and deploying them internally will still come at a hefty price.
AI platforms are currently being offered by the industry’s tech giants. But the solutions they offer are broad in scope. This means that some customization is needed. This can get very expensive.
Still, today’s businesses can enjoy the full benefits of AI, thanks to emerging AI-as-service platform providers.
The IT industry is increasingly adopting the as-a-service business model to AI applications. This allows other companies to access AI services at a more reasonable price point.
It is critical that groundbreaking developments like AI services be available to as many companies as possible. This is the only way that customer satisfaction and business optimization be achieved at a meaningful level.
To this end, the SR&ED program is offering SR&ED tax incentives to IT companies engaged in eligible AI-related projects.
Eligible Canadian-controlled private corporations or CCPCs can earn an SR&ED tax credit of up to 35% of $3 million in qualifying expenditures. This includes a wide range of expenditures, including the following:
• Salary and wages
• Contract costs on behalf of the claimant
• Overhead costs
• Third-party payments
Aside from CCPCs, proprietorships and partnerships can apply as long as they have an eligible SR&ED project. Admission to the SR&ED program is focused on the merits of the project and not the company.
SR&ED Funding for Autonomous Driving Projects
Autonomous driving has been gaining traction since the first “truly self-driving car” came out in the 1980s. While the current scope or depth is not yet at the level portrayed in sci-fi movies, reality may not be as far behind as you think.
The year 2021 will most likely be considered as the de facto golden age of autonomous driving as Tesla is set to make its fully self-driving system available as a subscription service.
Most Tesla cars already have the standard Autopilot feature with the automatic brake, accelerate, and steer capabilities, but the new package will take things to a whole new level.
Once operational, it will allow cars to recognize road signs and traffic lights, change lanes when needed, and even park themselves.
Aside from these capabilities linked directly to driving, other in-car features will also become increasingly automated. Data capture and analytics will see a bigger role in security, entertainment, and other functions. And in addition to cars, you can expect trucking and shipping to become more autonomous.
It is becoming apparent that this emerging trend in the automotive industry is much more than just passing fancy. In time, autonomous driving will be the norm and not the exception. Businesses impacted by this development must stay ahead of the curve and explore ways to use it to their advantage.
Innovative companies with ideas on how to accelerate the deployment or utilization of autonomous driving can get a much-needed boost from SR&ED grants. Using these grants, they can pursue research and experimental development activities that could help take autonomous driving to the next level.
For a project to qualify under this tax incentive program, it must meet five basic criteria:
1. A scientific and technological uncertainty is present
2. The hypothesis formulated is designed to reduce or eliminate the uncertainty
3. The approach used is consistent with a systematic investigation or search
4. The approach leads to scientific or technological advancements
5. The hypothesis tested and the ensuing results are documented as the work progressed
With the help of the SR&ED tax credits and other government grants, it won’t be long before autonomous driving transforms the way we travel. It will lower the costs, reduce road congestion, and make commuting less stressful. Most importantly, it will reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality.
The SR&ED Program: Helping Canadians Utilize Renewable Energy
Another emerging trend that could benefit from the SR&ED program is the use of solar energy in Canada.
In Canada, as with the rest of the world, sustainability is no longer just a buzzword used to generate interest from curious sectors. More and more people are embracing it as way of life.
Canada is abundant in land, with plenty of available roof space. It also receives more sunlight than places like the United Kingdom and Germany. Most importantly, interest in sustainable living is at its highest.
In short, Canada is primed for an increase in uptake for rooftop solar panels.
To date, there are around 40,000 rooftop solar panels installed all over the country, which leaves a lot of room for improvement. But with various government initiatives like the SR&ED program and IRAP funding, innovative companies can find new ways to make solar energy more accessible to Canadians across the country.
The SR&ED Program for Canada’s Innovative Industries
The program offers tax incentives to offset the R&D costs of eligible SR&ED projects, helping Canadian companies optimize their research budget. It comes as a deduction from the tax payable for the current year or income tax for the future years. It can also come as an investment tax credit.
If you are engaged in research activities involving innovative technologies, you should take a close look at how you can leverage SR&ED funding. Funding specialists like EVAMAX can help you put together a viable SR&ED claim.