With the headlines full of stories about Ontario’s labour law changes, it’s refreshing to take some time to hear about ways that governments assisting businesses financially.
At the December Strategic Interest Group Event in Burlington, Jeff Mitobe, Engineering Manager with Northbridge Consultants, led a discussion about using government funds and receiving SR&ED tax credits.
With respect to SR&ED, the key is to be able to demonstrate an iterative body of work with respect to the process for which you were making your claim. It is noteworthy that your efforts are not required to elevate the technology of the industry, but rather to elevate the technology of your own company. In other words, a successful SR&ED claim is not (necessarily) a precursor to the Nobel prize.
While SR&ED claims can affect government funding applications, in most cases they are quite separate, and many grants have human components. For example, there are many different grants for hiring and training, and many grants require a net increase in workers at the facility as a result of receiving the grant. In other words, one of the policy goals of providing grant money is to increase employment. Keeping these policy objectives in mind is helpful when planning for grant funding. The timeframe for planning grant activities is the strategic time frame, that is, from three to four years in advance of needing the money. When the grant is awarded, it is typically not provided up front, but in stages. Funds for subsequent stages are only released if agreed-upon requirements are met, for example hiring a certain number of people, and your strategic planning needs to extend to this level of detail, beyond just planning to apply for the grant.
Discussion at the SIG also delved into the mechanics of government funding pools, and which individuals in a manufacturing facility typically spearhead grant applications. Please join us in the coming months at a local SIG. I’m sure you’ll find it worthwhile, and we welcome your insights adding to the discussion.
Thank you to our host, Malabar Super Spice, and to our speaker, Jeff Mitobe.