Program Eligibility


The following information outlines the key criteria and eligible activities In order to claim SR&ED funding.


There are three basic criteria that must be met in order to qualify:

  1. Scientific or Technological Uncertainty: a technological limit, challenge or unknown must be faced that cannot be overcome by applying the techniques, procedures and data that are currently available.
  2. Scientific or Technological Content: systematic investigations or experimentation must be conducted  was performed to resolve the challenge faced.
  3. Scientific or Technological Advancement: through systematic investigations new information is generated that advances the understanding of the underlying technologies. However the project does not have to have a successful outcome to satisfy this criteria.

In order to clarify if a project qualifies under SR&ED, the CRA switched from the “three basic criteria” approach adopted the “five questions” approach. The five questions are as follows:

  1. Was there a scientific or technological uncertainty?
  2. Was a hypothesis formulated specifically aimed at reducing or eliminating that uncertainty?
  3. Was the overall approach consistent with a systemic investigation or search, including formulating and testing the hypothesis by means of experiment or analysis?
  4. Was the overall approach undertaken for the purpose of achieving a scientific or technological advancement?
  5. Was a record of the hypothesis tested and the results kept as the work progressed?



Categories of Eligible SR&ED activities include:

  • Basic Research: which refers to work undertaken to advance scientific or technical knowledge without a practical application in mind.
  • Applied Research: which refers to work undertaken to advance scientific or technical knowledge with an application in mind.
  • Experimental Development: which refers to work undertaken to achieve a technical or scientific advancement in order to create or improve materials, products and processes. Most eligible R&D activities fall under this category.
  • Support Work: which refers to activities required to directly test or support SR&ED eligible activities described above. The support work includes only the following eight specific types: engineering, design, operations research, mathematical analysis, computer programming, data collection, testing and psychological research. The support work must correspond to the needs of the basic research, applied research and experimental development.



The following activities are not eligible under the SR&ED program:

  • Social sciences or humanities research
  • Commercialization of new or improved materials, devices or products or processes
  • Style changes
  • Quality control or routine testing of materials, devices, products or processes
  • Market research or sale promotion
  • Routine data collection
  • Prospecting, exploring, drilling for or producing minerals, petroleum or natural gas



Eligible expenditures incurred for SR&ED activities include:

  • Salaries and wages
  • Materials
  • SR&ED contracts
  • Lease cost of equipment
  • Overhead
  • Third party payments
  • Capital expenditures


Understanding what expenses and activities are eligible for SR&ED credits will allow your firm to invest smartly and grow sooner. CRI can show you how your everyday activities meet these requirements and help you maximize your return.


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