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Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Sridaya Srivatsan, a Grade 11 student from St. Francis Xavier Secondary in Mississauga, has been accepted for a prestigious summer research program at  Deep River Science Academy (DRSA) near Ottawa. RIC Centre, Mississauga put forward Ms Srivatson’s name as a candidate and Sheridan College has provided sponsorship.

This unique and innovative science research summer academy selects only 18 students across Canada.

The program provides a six week work experience in a leading research laboratory under the guidance of a professional scientist or engineer and a university science student hired full-time to supervise and guide their research.  The research projects range from chemistry, physics, biology and life sciences and incorporate aspects of engineering and technology.

DRSA is a private school and is authorized by the Ontario Ministry of Education to issue academic credits. Students must write a research paper and give an overview of their research to their peers and interested scientists before graduating with 2 credits.

Pictured Sridaya Srivatsan was selected to participate in the Deep River Science Academy. Her application is supported the RIC Centre and  Sheridan College. Photo l to r: Jeff Zabudsky, President Sheridan College;  Sridaya Srivatsan and  Bill Matthews,  Chair RIC Centre & VP Marketing Magellan Aerospace.

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By Sarah O’Neill

Is your business new to R&D partnerships with post-secondary researchers? The NSERC Ontario Regional Office can help!

Partnering with post-secondary researchers begins by connecting with the right people—getting to know scientists and engineers with the right mix of expertise to solve your problems. NSERC Ontario has begun to host Connector events that help you do just that. These unique events provide a ‘designed’ opportunity for companies to meet with selected researchers. To assist you, staff specialists from NSERC’s Ontario Regional Office are present at all Connector events to describe how the Engage Grant, $25,000 of support for new research collaborations, works.

There are two different types of Connector events. In one format, the event is sector specific, so the companies and researchers are all from the same general sector; for example,  information and communications technology. We begin with a “show and tell” session where each attendee introduces either their research expertise, or provides a background on their company, and what its current research needs are. Following the presentations the floor is open for networking, or impromptu one-on-one meetings.

Alternatively, the other format matches up industry representatives and professors to have 10-15 minute conversations about themselves and their research projects. This “speed-dating” portion of the event gives people the opportunity to network as well as sign up for one-on-one sessions with each other.

“The NSERC Connector event provides a great informal forum to meet professors and hear about what they do,” says Gerard Campeau from Thermal Electronics Corp. “We were able to find someone whose research can help us to correct some of the issues we’re looking to fix.”

“The speed dating event presented a great opportunity for academic researchers and industry to meet and network on a one-on-one basis,” says Dr. Goldie Nejat from the University of Toronto. “I found the event to be very helpful in kick starting new academia-industry collaborations.”

Bottom line for your company? You bring the research problem, we’ll bring the talent and facilities that can help solve it, and NSERC will provide the money to make it happen through our Engage Grants Program.

To find out when the next connector event is happening in your area, give Sarah at the NSERC Ontario Regional office a call at 905-403-0301.

Sarah O’Neill is the Communications and Promotions Officer at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Ontario regional office.  Sarah can connect you with the information you need to know regarding NSERC’s partnership opportunities.

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By  Sarah O’Neill

As a business person, you may have considered working with academic researchers as a way of advancing your R&D and giving your business a competitive edge, but you were not ready to take the plunge into a full-blown partnership without first testing the waters.

Through a new program called Engage Grants, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) has now made it easier for companies and academic researchers to work together on short-term (up to six months) research projects that address company-specific problems. Engage Grants are intended to give companies that operate from a Canadian base access to the unique knowledge and expertise at Canadian universities. The program’s goal is to foster the development of new research partnerships between academic researchers and companies that have never collaborated before.

What’s more, NSERC provides the funds for this relationship-building exercise to take place. The program awards up to $25,000 to cover the direct project costs.

Engage projects can be awarded at any point in the R&D spectrum that is consistent with the university’s research, training and technology transfer mandate. The project is required to be scientifically sound and technically feasible. It must be aimed at solving the company-specific problem through the generation of new knowledge, or the application of existing knowledge in an innovative manner.

As a business, you can’t lose—the project is aimed at helping to solve your research problem, and your company enjoys the added bonus of keeping the rights to any intellectual property arising from the project.

What better way to see if an R&D partnership is right for you?

If you would like more information on the program, please call the NSERC Ontario Regional Office at 1-877-767-1767, or view the program description at Engage Grants.

Subscribe to NSERC’s new e-bulletin IN Partnership.

Sarah O’Neill is the Communications and Promotions Officer at the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Ontario regional office.  Sarah can connect you with the information you need to know regarding NSERC’s partnership opportunities.

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FredHausmann-PortraitBy Fred Hausmann

PART 1

Why would you care what a SR&ED claim is as a business owner? How about getting 68 cents back on every dollar spent as a cheque from the government! You got it – it’s one of the best ways to help fund your company’s growth.

One of the most lucrative funding programs for businesses offered by the Canadian government is the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax program. More than $4 billion dollars is ear marked each year for the program.

The name “Scientific Research and Experimental Development” does sound a little intimidating but it really comes down to solving problems that have a technological component to them. The government did not want to call the program “Research and Development” (R&D) as they felt R&D could also mean solving problems through the “bumble and stumble” methodology, which they did not want to pay for.

The idea here is that you need to follow a “scientific” approach to solving the problem and not just run around like a chicken with its head cut off as the means to solving the problem. Now that’s not so hard is it? The government isn’t expecting you to make your employees wear white lab coats and behave like academic researchers – you just need to show that you followed a logical process in trying to resolve the issue.

It boils down to attempting to overcome a technological uncertainty, where overcoming that technological uncertainty is not readily known.  Wow, that was unclear but that’s part of the issue in claiming SR&ED! I can’t emphasize enough that there is a BIG GREY area as to what qualifies and what does not. The absolutely subjective things that the CRA looks at include:

  • “what was readily known at the time?”
  • “what exactly constitutes something being a technological uncertainty?”

Consequently, a lot of it comes down to “opinion” on the part of the CRA. What that means for you is you need to make sure you present the technological uncertainties and the technological limitations and barriers in the clearest possible manner. But that is a topic for different post. Watch tomorrow for what qualifies for SR&ED.

Fred Hausmann is the founder and senior managing director at the FRED Group Inc. a business development and specialty tax service whose mandate is to source, secure and support your business through the maze of government funding options. Specialties include SR&ED and other tax refund/credit programs. Visit FRED Group’s website or contact Fred at  email fhausmann@FREDgroup.ca .

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