In our last post we discussed the five questions for which CRA expects 5 Yes answers for your SR&ED claim to be accepted. Let’s look at each one more closely in a series of posts.
Scientific or technological uncertainty?
Was there a scientific or technological uncertainty? This means that current technology is not at the place where it allows you to know if you can achieve a new (or improved) capability. This doesn’t just mean that you don’t know how to do it. It means that the REASON you don’t know how to do it is that there is missing scientific or technological know-how. Sometimes you can have uncertainty that could be addressed by current scientific or technological knowledge.
A very simple example might explain this. Maybe you try to shut your car door and it isn’t closing properly. You don’t know why. It is an uncertainty, but you have the technological know-how to determine that you need to adjust the hinges to enable the door to close easily. On the other hand, maybe you don’t like the idea that a door is opaque: you can’t see next to the car with it closed. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a force field contain the car’s contents? I bet you don’t have the technology to do that. There is not just one technological uncertainty, but probably several.
In your claim, you need to show why the pool of generally available knowledge plus your knowledge base was insufficient to resolve the uncertainty. Sometimes the uncertainty isn’t just how to resolve it, but how to resolve it in a way that makes the replication of the solution economically viable.
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