We continue the series of educational articles on SR&ED related projects in the Cannabis Industry. This article will focus on the first stages of the SR&ED project.
To make sure that the correct amount of expenses is claimed, it is very important to determine when the SR&ED project begins. A common belief is that it starts when the technological obstacle is identified. This is, however, a mistake. First, it is required to show that the problem has no available solutions in the open sources. In other words – to perform a due-diligence research assessment. Although the Cannabis Industry is very new, answers to some of these questions can be found online, in scientific journals, in professional literature (e.g., The Cannabis Growth Bible) or by asking colleagues who might have had similar problems or questions before. The time spent on the due-diligence research assessment is not SR&ED eligible.
Let’s assume that no answers are found in the open sources. This result still does not mean that there is a real technological uncertainty and that the SR&ED projects have begun – there can be some available answers in parallel industries. For example, it is known that in some parameters the cannabis growth process can be comparable to this of tomatoes. In such case, if you try a method described for tomatoes and it does not lead to the expected results – only then one can say that a technological wall was hit and the SR&ED work begins.
Let’s assume we are at the beginning of the SR&ED project. To be eligible, the project has to follow an intelligent path, avoiding “trial and error” type of work. Thus, it is highly recommended at this stage, before starting with the experimental process, to write a short research protocol, which will serve a proof that the project is not “trial and error” type. This protocol may include the following chapters:
- Purpose. A short description of the objective and the background of the project.
- Hypothesis. Description of idea(s) the project will test. The most important part! Formulating hypotheses is one of the requirements for SR&ED (one of the five questions).
- Materials. What materials are allocated to the project? What is the logic behind the allocation?
- Methods. Which experiments are planned?
- Controls. Which control experiments will be performed, to make sure that the knowledge gained is not occasional?
- Sample size. How the sample size (e.g., number of experimental plants) was identified to provide statistically significant results?
- Data Collected. Which parameters will be measured?
- Data Interpretation. What is going to be done with the collected data?
- References. (optional) Literature samples that were reviewed during the due-diligence.
Such protocols will eventually become an important integrated part of the SR&ED technical description. As well – protocol formulation and the corresponding discussions time is SR&ED eligible, so do not forget to mention it in the timesheets.
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