In order to ensure an accurate eligibility assessment, please read the following advice from AusIndustry and review your claim to ensure it meets these points:
The solution (New Knowledge)
This description should be detailed and include the specific information sought to resolve the specific technical areas of uncertainty identified. The description should explain how the new knowledge sought to be generated is different from the current knowledge.
Please note: it is not sufficient to state that the final product is expected to be a novel offering in the marketplace.
The reason (Unknown Outcome)
This description should address why the outcomes of the hypotheses (technical or scientific ideas) the Company is testing (and not the outcome of the project) cannot be known or determined in advance. The emphasis here should be on the technical uncertainties of the R&D activities and the description should explain how the Company determined that a competent professional in the relevant field was, or would be, unable to know or determine the outcome of the experiments in advance based on existing information, knowledge or experience.
The tests and results (R&D Activities)
This description should include the hypotheses of the experiments and a description of the experiments themselves and not simply list the actions taken within the project. This means identifying the experimental steps undertaken, including non-standard steps and how the outcomes of these tests were measured. The hypotheses should describe what variables (or technical features) are to be tested, manipulated and investigated during the experiment, not just re-state the technical goals for the overall project. This is to say ‘if we do X to Y it will enable/do/lead to Z’.
What is not R&D?
Determining what is and isn’t R&D is not always straightforward. Overall, the task must satisfy the criteria outlined above, which is to say that is is technically challenging, unknown to an expert in the field and either creating new knowledge in the field or bridging a gap in current knowledge between what exists and what you sought to achieve. Some examples of where this is not generally the case include:
- Solving technical problems where similar problems have been overcome previously.
- Using the capabilities of existing software as they are intended to be used and within their limitations.
- Minor adaptation of existing software, materials or products.
- Adding minor user functionality to existing application programmes or devices. Sometimes there is confusion about routine testing steps in software development projects.
- small, incremental improvements of existing technology to gain a commercial and competitive edge over the market
Detailing this information in Nifty Grants will allow your reviewer to process your claim faster.