Phase 2: Technological Uncertainties

The Canada Revenue Agency recognizes two specific sources of eligible “technical uncertainty” for SR&ED:

“Specifically, scientific or technological uncertainty may occur in either of two ways:

[scientific uncertainty] it may be uncertain whether the goals can be achieved at all; or

[system uncertainty] the taxpayer may be fairly confident that the goals can be achieved, but may be uncertain which of several alternatives (i.e. paths, routes, approaches, equipment configurations, system architectures, circuit techniques, etc.) will either work at all, or be feasible to meet the desired specifications or cost targets, or both of these…Work on combining standard technologies, devices, and/or processes is eligible if non-trivial combinations of established (well-known) technologies and principles for their integration carry a major element of technological uncertainty; this may be called a “system uncertainty.”4

In the author’s opinion, this definition underlines the importance of continually outlining initial expectations and explaining resultant variances for work with any significant integration uncertainties.

4 CRA IC 86-4R3 paragraph 2.10.2