When the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic hit the world in 2020, many companies took it upon themselves to answer the challenges that the pandemic brought with it. Despite the lockdowns and other operational difficulties that slowed production down, these companies took risks and invested in innovation, research, and development. In doing so, many of these companies leaned on and took advantage of the SR&ED Tax Credit available to all Canadian companies. The continued SR&ED Tax Credit has allowed many Canadian companies to flourish and in doing so have made a big difference with fighting and protecting people against COVID-19. Below are several examples of projects in Canada that helped make a difference.
The company was requested by a governmental body to increase the production of its portable life support system devices from 20-50 units per year to over 1000 units per year. The device was developed many years ago, but since not all the parts necessary for mass production of the device were available or manufacturable at high volumes, alternatives with different characteristics had to be sourced. As well, the existing production and testing processes were not capable to withstand such increased production volume. The mass production process development included multiple uncertainties, which made this project eligible for the SR&ED application. The challenges had to be addressed quickly since the systems were required by the hospitals immediately. The company invested the majority of its resources in experimental development and testing, many engineering and software solutions were trialed, and many of them failed. Eventually, the development was successful. This project led to the acquisition of priceless knowledge by the company, and more importantly, to multiple lives saved.
Two companies – a cosmetic manufacturer and a packaging products manufacturer tried to repurpose, customize, and adapt some of their lines to produce, respectively, hand sanitizers, face masks, and face shields. While there were no uncertainties in the development of these products, the adaptation/customization process appeared to be technologically challenging. The chemical processing pipes that worked for creams appeared not to be as stable for the hand sanitizer formulation. The materials and forming dies that worked well for packages did not form or laminated as precisely into Personal Protection Equipment (PPE, i.e., masks and shields). These challenges were addressed following experimental development, and this is why the projects were eligible for the SR&ED Tax Credit. The cosmetic company was successful to develop, produce and distribute the hand sanitizer, while the packaging company decided not to proceed with the manufacturing of PPE, due to the lack of financial feasibility. Nevertheless, both companies got benefits from the development as the knowledge that was generated during the projects remained in the companies.
A company sought to develop and conduct all analytical and clinical studies required for the application of both antigen and antibody rapid tests by the wide public that would substitute or supplement the expensive and lengthy Polymer Chain Reaction (PCR) tests. The tests had to be of very high sensitivity and selectivity, i.e., to exhibit minimal false positives and false-negative results to pass the regulatory requirements. The company conducted evaluations of the devices in collaboration with different Contract Research Organizations (CROs) over the world. The company gathered the information from the CROs, summarized and analyzed the evaluations, and based on the results conducted or directed further experimental research. In parallel to clinical trials results analysis, the company monitored public databases for the emergence of new variants of SARS CoV-2 and regularly assessed the impact of these emerging variants and developed vaccines on the tests, while formulating plans to mitigate associated newly evolving risks. In the previous year, the tests were approved and are now widely used in different countries. This is a very typical example of an applied research-type project which is eligible for the SR&ED Tax Credit.
Braithwaite is constantly thrilled to see all of the advancements our clients and many companies across Canada have made a difference to fight and protect Canadians against COVID-19. If you are a company or know someone involved with research, innovation, or development across Canada, please contact Braithwaite Canada today to receive funding through the SR&ED Tax Credit. please contact us today.
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