sred four part testCanada Revenue Agency, in partnership with the Canadian Government, has been working meticulously to award companies participating in Scientific Research and Experimental Development for the promotion of national innovation in Canada. This practice dates back as early as 1944, when companies could deduct 100% of their scientific research expenditures from their taxable income. Since then, through several revaluations, Canada has optimized its SR&ED credit calculation and program to ensure businesses are getting the maximum possible return for their R&D efforts. 

The SR&ED credit program provides companies and businesses the freedom to conduct research while minimizing the company’s liabilities for the research. This credit is equivalent to a portion of the R&D tax credit qualified activities a business incurs related to the specific research project at hand. These qualified expenses are more inclusive than popular belief including the likes of employee and supervisor salaries for those involved in the project, a significant amount of supplies and materials used as well as any contracted or third-party expenditure incurred in the process. 

For example, the food industry could have several projects that involve basic research, applied research or experimental development. Any of these projects including scientific or technological advancement, uncertainty or content could be applicable to this program. Other efforts such as new product, packages or development processes, technical procedures as well as improvement could also qualify for such project. Hence, this credit is not limited to any specific industry or sector if it simply abides by the following four-part test. 

A business can conduct a simple four-part test to determine their qualified R&D activity. This eligibility is in fact heavily dependent on the research and project itself. 

This four-part test can help you determine if your project qualifies for the SR&ED program: 

  1. Elimination of Uncertainty: The project must be in attempt to eliminate uncertainty about the development or improvement a product or process and cannot be a change for aesthetics solely. 
  2. Process of Experimentation: Experimentation is critical as it must be demonstrated that the alternatives have been evaluated and tested for through either modeling, simulation or systematic trial and error or through other avenues. 
  3. Technological in Nature: The research qualified for this credit program must also lie within the hard sciences, including engineering, physics, chemistry, biology or computer sciences. In other words, no matter what the end use or purpose of this research, the process and method which is being researched must be scientifically backed. 
  4. Qualified Purpose: The end goal and purpose for this project must be to improve a specific product or process resulting in higher efficiency of performance, function, reliability and or quality. 

Some qualified activities may include: 

–       Developing prototypes of new equipment or experimenting with now improved equipment 

–       Patent applications 

–       Additive equipment to improve processes 

–       Streamlining of manufacturing processes 

–       Development of software or enhancements on existing technological aids 

–       Enhancements to processes to support green initiatives and make businesses more environmentally friendly 

–       HVAC concept and design 

–       Testing of new concepts and technology 

This program provides incentives for Canadian businesses to expand their capacity and production while also contributing to the Canadian economy at minimal direct expense. The SR&ED program alone also accounts for the single largest federal government support for industrial research and development encompassing over $3 million worth of expenditures claimed. 

EVAMAX specializes in consulting firms for their SR&ED projects, preparing their SR&ED applications and follow up process right through to the credit reimbursement. Contact EVAMAX today to find out how you can take your business to the next level through the SR&ED tax credit program. 

augmented realityAugmented reality is technology that blends digital information technology, ie: sound, video, graphics and direct sensory experiences in real world surroundings and objects.  

Its like the Pokemon Go App! connected with real world information and presents an interactive world of Pokemons appearing on your sidewalk.  

This interactive form of technology is playing an increasingly critical role in healthcare. As medical professionals are constantly working to meet rising demands in healthcare services and keep up with health advancements and outbreaks. Healthcare is utilizing augmented reality hardware to treat various medical conditions, particularly neuropsychological conditions. Applications and protypes are available or in the development stage to improve conditions of autism, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, phobias, addiction, stress and rehabilitation. 

The AR market was worth $4B in 2018 but the falling costs of AR hardware as well as its growing value in healthcare will significantly increase its worth in the following years.  GlobalData’s ‘Virtual/ Augmented Reality in Healthcare’ forecasts a compound annual growth rate at 13%, resulting in a market value of $76B by 2030. 

Here are five ways AR is transforming the face of healthcare to provide solutions to medical challenges:  

  1. Improving access: AR directly improves the concepts of medical consultations over distances . It also guaranteeing the quality of consultations. Even in the field of surgery, AR not only assists medical professional with diagnostics but surgical procedures. Take the app Proxime, it allows complete surgical procedures to be carried out over distance, by a specialist using AR tools to guide with a colleague in real time. This increases access to surgery as medical expertise can reach more patients.  
  2. Boosting TrainingMedical professional have more accessibility and opportunity to train more and faster. AR applications such as 3D visualizations, that bring anatomical learning to life and aid nurses in master techniques to check for vital signs. A great benefit of AR as a learning toll is its highly engaging and immersive nature.  
  3. Keeping up with tech: Innovative technologies with promising health benefits are being introduced to the healthcare provision everyday. The challenge lies within adopting a product or service from its development phase and implementing it in daily medical practice. The reasons for this delay involve costs related to purchase, time for awareness, integration to systems as well as training staff. AR can fasten this process by providing remote training and product demonstrations.  
  4. Aiding Practice: AR can help healthcare practitioners with Day to Day tasks for higher accuracy and efficiencyAccuVein, an AR application helps practitioners locate veins for cannulation. Future uses of AR may include electronic medical records being automatically displayed on a device as a doctor examines consults with patients. This can also highlight immediacy that AR can bring to medical attention. 
  5. Empowering Patients: With the use of AR in healthcare, patients can have a proactive role in their own care. The EyeDecide app, for example, is on the one hand another example of a 3D anatomical visualization tool, this time demonstrating the structure of the eyeball. The app offers visual simulations of different eye conditions. Users can match simulations to any distortion they are experiencing in their own vision and the app offers a list of suggested eye specialists in their area If your business is a part of the medical equipment manufacturing industry – investing in AR Research and Development and planning its integration into your products and services is advantageous. 

If you’re looking to incorporate AR into your product line and require financial sourcing, there are numerous funding opportunities available.  

  • Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), supportsmall and medium-sized enterprises with their technology innovation advances.  
  • Superclusters 
    • British Columbia: Digital Technology  
    • Quebec: Scale Artificial Intelligence   

Do you want to know all the Innovation Grants and Incentives that your company is eligible for? Contact EVAMAX today for a no-obligation consultation.

 

So you have a small business up and running, but there are uncalled expenditures that are piling up on you. Whether you are looking for funding to take care of your additional expenditures or contribute to the growth of your brand, here are four financing options available to Canadian small business owners:

 1. Loans

While it’s harder to get loans from Canadian banks as a small business, there are several alternatives that are available to you.

  • Canada Small Businesses Financing Program: Any starts-ups, for-profit small businesses in Canada with gross revenues of $10 million or less are eligible to apply for loans under this program. The program can offer up to $1 million for a single small business. 
  • BDC Xpansion Loan and Startup Financing Program: For the Xpansion loan your business can receive up to $100,000 in long-term financing, with eligible expenditures including e-commerce, marketing plan, certifications and more. The Startup Financing program is designed to support small businesses during the start or early growth phase. Funding provided can be up to $100,000, which can be used for working capital, marketing, fixed assets. 
  • Community Development Financial Institutions: Microloans can be obtained from local financial institution. The Wester Economic Diversification Canada offers a microloan program that small businesses can get up to $15,000. 
  • Loans for Entrepreneurs who identify as minorities: For Women – The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Women in Business InitiativesParo Centre for Women’s Enterprise, Women’s Enterprise Initiative Loan Program. For Indigenous communities: BDC Indigenous entrepreneur, Aboriginal Entrepreneurship Program Canada and Certified Aboriginal Business Program.

2. Grants

The Government of Canada provides numerous generous grants for business owners, particularly niche small business owners. Finding a grant that your small business is eligible can be overwhelming, try using this new tool on the Government of Canada website that allows you to streamline your hunt for funding.

Here are funding options that the Grants Specialists at EVAMAX focus on:

  • Basic Research
  • Experimental Development
  • Applied Research
  • Small + Mid-sized Technology Innovation Programs
  • Alberta Innovates – Product Demonstration Program
  • Support Alberta-based companies with the opportunity to develop novel and innovative technologies
    • Strategic Innovation Fund
    • Provides repayable + non-repayable contribution to support R&D. growth + expansion of firms in Canada, attract + retain large-scale investments in Canada, advance industrial research through collaboration between academia, non-profit organizations and the private sector

3. Debt or Equity Financing 

Debt financing include the owner or borrower accepts funds from an external source and commits to pay the principal and interest back after a certain period of time. The interest represents the ‘cost’ of money you borrowed. Often there’s monthly payments, for the both the principal and interest and place assets for collateral as reassurance for the lender. This is where debt-financing can be intertwined with equity-financing – putting up assets for collateral can include selling a stake in your company to your investors who plan to receive future profits. Business owners are involved with equity financing, means their investors are entitled to a portion of company profits. The investors may also have control in core business decisions. 

Related: 5 TIPS IN IDENTIFYING SMALL BUSINESS GRANTS IN CANADA

4. Angel Investors + Venture Capitalists  

Angel investors and venture capitalists are types of equity investors that support small businesses that have potential for growth but lack the adequate financial resources to grow and develop. Both these investors are often highly experienced and have expertise in investments within the industry your business exists. They will require pro forma with clear financials, demonstration of working product/service and a qualified management team, to consider investing in your small business. 

Throughout these financing options, small businesses are often still looking for ‘free money’ or grants they can collect to best develop their brand. If you are looking for support during your application process for grants + tax incentives or simply looking for what your small business is eligible for, contact a Grants Specialist at EVAMAX’s team today. You never know what funding you are bound to receive!

Export Your Medical Devices & Take Advantage of International Medical Markets

As Canada heavily invests in our healthcare delivery and industry, its life science sector is gaining more traction due to its innovative and entrepreneurial nature. We know that our economy greatly relies on innovation and research for business sustainability. This ensures a spot for anyone with bold ideas and strategic frameworks to transform ideas into reality.  

If your company creates products that can be used in mitigation, treatment, diagnosis or prevention of a disease or abnormal physical conditions, you are a part of the medical device industry. Examples of medical devices include pacemakers, pacemakers, artificial heart valves, hip implants, synthetic skin, medical laboratory diagnostic instruments, test kits for diagnosis and contraceptive devices.

Related: Everything you need to know about CanExport Funding 2020

Globally, there is no single large firm controlling the medical device sector. It’s a low-level industry concentration, leaving room for Canadian medical devices to explore their international market potential.  

In 2017, the key business segments of global medical device markets included:  

  • Diagnostic imaging, such as MRI and CT-Scan (24% of the world market) 
  • Consumables (16%) 
  • Patient aids – hearing aids, pacemakers (13%) 
  • Orthopedic Products (12%)
  • Dental products (8%) 
  • Other medical equipment (28%)  

If your company creates medical devices within these key business segments, jot down ‘investigate export opportunities’ on your ongoing projects list. The global expansion increases your access to markets and extends the sales life of your product, having a direct impact on your company’s growth and success. 

Related: Government Grants and Funding for Biotech, Lifesciences and Medical Technology

Expanding to international markets is a great leap for most R&D companies specializing in medical devices, especially smaller ones. It’s important to consider the prosperity international expansion can bring along with its challenges. 

If this leap is taken with adequate financial means and guidance, the opportunity risk can minimize significantly. For additional financial resources, check out CanExport funding as well as the Export Market Access Program if you’re based in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia.

Related: Government Grants for Export  

Whether your company focuses on engineering, manufacturing or software development of medical devices, here are factors to consider when contemplating a launch in international markets.  

If you require support for exporting your medical devices, EVAMAX specializes in filing paperwork for CanExport and Export Market Access Program claims. Our experience in working with companies that work in international markets is abundant and we’ll be able to apply this expertise to your global expansion exploration.    

Do you want to know all the Grants and Incentives your company is eligible for? Contact EVAMAX today for a no-obligation consultation.   

 

 

R&D all the way! The Value of A Well-Constructed R&D Plan In Your Business

Keeping tabs on the dynamic Canadian tech industry is a source of great inspiration and in some cases, anxiety. Tech companies are constantly bombarded with rapid technological advancements and everchanging market landscapes, challenging their current product.

These challenges can present exciting opportunities for product innovation and advancements. Tech companies understand the importance of innovation and its ability to single-handedly drive future company growth.

Consistently adding value to your established creations, through an R&D strategy ensures businesses sustainability through changing demand trends and increasing competitors. Here are three tips to successfully implement an R&D Strategy in your business: 

1) Create a strategic framework 

Start by asking yourself these questions: 

  • How will your products continue to bring value to the dynamic tech market and how are you overcoming limitations? 
  • What is the importance of your brand, company in the future? 
  • What external changes can impact your target audience and how will your creations remain relevant to them? 
  • Are you consistently challenging your team and fixed routines, products? 

While these questions are a great place to start, it’s important to be mindful of varying solutions based on your company’s own values and mission. An R&D plan that aligns with a company’s vision and business strategies, is bound to be more effective and successful.  These solutions can act as goals or a strategic framework that companies can work towards through an R&D plan.  

Related: Canadian Innovation Grants are Transforming Businesses Nationwide

2) Establish a dedicated R&D team to manage the strategy 

Once you have a clear understanding of your strategic framework, you can start forming an R&D team to carry out the plan. It’s crucial that members of the team know the structure of the group and acknowledges the responsibilities each person has. Your R&D team, and particularly the team lead, should understand what is being tested and why. Having a firm decision-maker, calling the “continue” or “stop” shots will enhance the efficiency of your team. 

Related: How can Business Grants Bring Innovative Ideas to the Market

If your company is smaller and doesn’t have a dedicated R&D, that isn’t an issue! If you have a sense of who in your business is responsible for leading the program towards your strategic framework all is well. It’s also beneficial to have a clear milestone to measure your R&D team’s progress against it. 

In terms of finding talent, your company has no need to worry, Canada is home to several niche researchers, scientists, and developers. If you’re looking to hire contract based or short term, be sure to check out freelance talent as well.  

Related: Sweet and Saas-y: Growth Hacks for SaaS Businesses

3) Have a well-built test environment  

Having an appropriate test environment gives you the chance to effectively test what your R&D team has built. This ensures the product built or enhanced fulfills the objectives outlined in your company’s strategic framework. Let’s say your R&D team delivered the comfiest pillow by your company ever.

In order to effectively test the quality of this pillow and whether it fulfills its purpose, it must be used by different people. To test the effect of different factors, age, sleeping patterns, and health, on the review of your pillow, an appropriate test environment must be created.

If financial limitations impact your ability to create a sound test environment, keep your heads up for Canadian R&D grants and tax credits!

Including Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program (SR&ED).  

Whether you’re a start-up or a large business, accepting problems as opportunities, create solutions and require a well-structured R&D plan integrated into your business. R&D directly contributes to a company’s vision for its brand, products, and services. A well-structured R&D plan implemented in your business will bring life to your team’s innovative ideas.  

Do you want to know all the R&D Grants and Incentives your company is eligible for? Feel free to reach out to EVAMAX today for a no-obligation consultation.   

 

 

Going International_ Tips on Expanding Your Business Globally

Expanding your company on a global scale is not easy and will often deter businesses from maximizing their potential growth.

While running a business domestically is risky enough, companies looking to expand globally incur greater liability and exposure with the hopes of gaining ultimately greater rewards. The many payoffs of going global, such as countering destabilizing market fluctuations and extending product life, attract companies to put their best effort forward in achieving this feat.

If you are a company looking to go global, EVAMAX can help you identify tax incentives/grants to finance your business needs or goals. See the tips below for more information regarding how to successfully expand internationally.

Analyzing Market Research and Planning a Strategy

Some of the most common reasons as to why companies fail to expand globally include incompetent expansion strategies and misunderstanding the given market. By building a thorough and accurate knowledge of the market, companies, in turn, can strategize the optimal plan regarding the targeted consumers, distribution methods, financing, and much more.

Just because a business plan works domestically, doesn’t mean it will reciprocate the same results in other markets with different consumer preferences, economic standards, etc. 

Related: Canadian Innovation Grants are Transforming Businesses Nationwide

Realistically, the downfalls to insufficiently developing an expansion strategy are far greater than if companies had executed their plan adequately initially.

In other words, it’s worth it to be patient and plan business strategies precisely rather than enter the market with no approach at all. Even if certain expenses are incurred such as consumer education or market research, all companies looking to go global should develop a thorough strategy.

Accessing Government Grants & Funding for Business Expansion or Exports & International Tradeshows

Financing is almost always an obstacle that companies must face when looking to expand internationally. Employees and businesses want to ensure they are getting compensated for the work they do. Fortunately, the Canadian federal government has taken interest in constructing some of the most generous grants and funding programs in the world.

Related: SRED: The most generous R&D cash refund/tax incentive program

Government grants can significantly contribute to the growth of a company and provide assurance to businesses trying to reach a goal such as international expansion. Companies who are seeking technological advancement or innovation are eligible for a series of benefits including investment tax credits, tax deductions, and cash refunds.

Businesses can maximize the potential benefits they are entitled to through consulting with SR&ED and Grant consultants. At EVAMAX, our team works to provide clarity and efficiency when seeking government funding for businesses. If you are a company looking to expand globally, EVAMAX can help finance your company through government grants and ultimately contribute to the overall success of your business.

Related: IRAP: Could You Be the Next Company to Receive Millions in Funding?

Understanding Cultural, Social, and Economic Differences

Depending on the location, different markets have different cultural, social and economic norms. For example, opening a steak and meats store in India would not be ideal as India has the world’s largest vegetarian population. It is vital when expanding globally to not only understand the goals and culture of one’s own company but also those in the international market as well.

Related: Can Export Program

This boils down to comprehending the cultural framework and communication of the countries we are trying to reach. Companies seeking global expansion must be able to effectively operate and communicate in accordance with cultural/social norms to be efficient in their expansion process.

In addition, it is also important to gain knowledge regarding the infrastructure of international markets. The operations and activities regarding the way companies do business can differ from market to market. Companies should consider certain aspects of the given market such as the reliability of distributors and suppliers, personal accommodations, and more.

Conclusion

Although global expansion is not necessarily the best plan of action for all companies, the rewards for growing internationally are significant. Going global can provide protection from domestic market fluctuations, decrease dependence on limited industries, induce product improvements, and much more.

The process of expanding internationally can be challenging not only from a financial point of view but overall as well. Firms like EVAMAX can help you acquire funding to finance your company and enhance potential growth.

For more information regarding how your company can successfully transition through the global expansion process, contact EVAMAX today.