Writing Technological Advancements
Writing your project description in Part II of Form T661 is extremely important to obtaining your SR & ED credits. It can not be taken lightly.
This form is the only document that can give a favorable opinion to the CRT about your project. If he does not believe it, you will undergo an audit meeting. Additionally, the advisor will initially have an unfavorable opinion about the eligibility of your project.
In a previous article, we gave some tricks of writing technological uncertainties (line 242). Let us now consider how to formulate technological advancements on line 246.
Advancement is defined by the CRA as the generation of information or the discovery of knowledge that advances our understanding of scientific relationships or technology.
Here are some questions to help you define and describe the desired progress:
1- Link progress to uncertainties and the experimental process described:
The title of question 246 is: “What scientific or technological advances have you made or attempted as a result of the work described on line 244? “. There must be a link between these sections.
- What progress is being made in technology?
- What were the problems or challenges that you could not solve using the commonly available experience and which made it necessary to seek advancement in the underlying technology to achieve the goal mentioned in 242?
- What new scientific knowledge has been found in your work?
- Describe the progress made and relate it to the corresponding overlap (or uncertainty) identified on line 242.
- One of the consequences of advancement is that new knowledge can be generalized. So illustrate, if possible, the generic aspect of your technological advancement, that is, it is useful in other situations or circumstances beyond the project in which progress has been made.
- As a general rule, work undertaken to resolve technological uncertainty ( line 242) through a systematic investigation or research process ( line 244) will result in technological advancement.
- Similarly, when developing products or processes, if a new capacity has been incorporated into a product or process to improve its performance, it is possible to achieve technological progress.
- Finally, the product or process may be new, or it may be an improvement of an existing product. On the other hand, this new capacity must be achieved by systematic investigation or research.
2- Avoid the functional or business side
- Explain why the new capacity represents a technological breakthrough in terms of the underlying technology and not in terms of:
- New functionality, or
- Innovation in the application, or
- The strategic advantage for your business.
- Distinguish between:
- Benefits arising from the success of the project (financial or marketing objectives related to innovation: originality, adding functionalities, functional improvement), and
- The technological advances obtained from the realization of the project (new technological knowledge, understanding of the unexplained technological phenomenon).
The main difference is that the benefits are linked to the success of the project, whereas technological advances are not. In fact, new scientific knowledge can be gained even if a project is a failure.
3- Define progress against the knowledge base
- It is very important to identify the technology for which advancement is being sought or obtained. An over-general definition of advances (eg, software, or civil engineering …) causes the auditor to consider your advances as common practice.
- Advances must advance your company’s scientific or technological knowledge base to a higher level by increasing understanding of scientific relationships or technology. So :
- Specify the difference between the capacity defined by the existing technology base at the start of the project and the new level achieved after SR & ED.
- Describe the advances you have made in relation to your existing technology base and helped you achieve your goals.
4- Failures can be a source of progress
- In the event of failure,
- Clearly state the reason for failure based on technology limitations
- Failure to achieve your goals or goals does not necessarily mean that there is no advancement. You learned something. Quantify scientific success, rather than business measures,
- Understanding why a possible solution will not succeed or fail to achieve the desired goals can be an advancement of science or technology.
- In other words, the rejection of a hypothesis may be considered advancement because it eliminates a possible solution.
- Report the current status of the work (continued, abandoned or completed) at the beginning and end of the fiscal year
- If possible:
- Identify lessons learned and knowledge gained
- Identify additional derived technologies (this is rare but possible)
5- Are NOT advances:
- Novelty, innovation, being unique, improving features or increasing functionality does not, in itself, mean technological advancement. What is important is whether they result from technological advancement.
- The resolution of technical problems or troubleshooting using generally available scientific or technological knowledge or experience does not meet the requirements of the program.
- Create new materials, devices, products or processes, or improve existing ones, can be achieved without leading to technological advancement.
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