SR&ED Research

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Ready to discuss SR&ED?

In our quest to elevate the discussion regarding the Scientific Research & Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax incentive program, we have collected a considerable amount of information. On this page, we attempt to organize it so that academics, politicians, executives, and policymakers can quickly access the information they require to make informed decisions.

SR&ED Milestones

History of SR&ED

The history of SR&ED is complicated and colourful. Since the programs inception in 1944 the program has been modified, changed and impacted in many ways. To understand where things are going, especially in matters of public policy, it is necessary to properly comprehend the past. Which is why we’ve painstakingly delved into hundreds of documents and organized the timeline of SR&ED in this page.

Visit our History of SR&ED page to see how the Government of Canada and other factors have impacted the SR&ED program over the years.

Government Reports

SR&ED In the Federal Budget

The federal budget is where the Canadian government outlines its goals and its challenges; where it introduces expensive new initiatives and jettisons old ones; where it decides to spend–or to cut back. Naturally, the government’s stance on technological innovation plays a prominent role in each year’s budget. We’ve compiled budget documents from 1995 to the present along with summaries, quotations, and context.

Visit our SR&ED In Federal Budgets (Summary) page to see how the Government of Canada has prioritized and treated the SR&ED program in the annual budget over the years.

SR&ED References in the CRA Annual Report to Parliament

Since 1999 the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) has provided the Canadian Treasury with “a comprehensive report on the performance of the CRA for the previous fiscal year, and a discussion of the CRA’s achievements against the key targets and indicators set out in our Corporate Business Plan and Departmental Plan.” Initially, the CRA would produce both an Annual Report to Parliament and a Departmental Performance Report, however, the Annual Report to Parliament was discontinued in 2015 to avoid duplication. On this page we have compiled excerpts from the CRA’s Annual Reports to Parliament from 1999-2015 which are relevant to the SR&ED program.

Visit our SR&ED in the CRA Annual Report to Parliament page to see what is the CRA reporting to Parliament about the SR&ED program.

Government of Canada Reports on SR&ED

The Government of Canada often issues reports via multiple departments. On this page we have gathered reports from the Library of Parliament, the Department of Finance, the Auditor General of Canada, and the Industry Canada which are relevant to the SR&ED program.

Visit our Government of Canada Reports on SR&ED page to see what these departments have to say about the SR&ED program and related innovation strategies.

Academic Research

Academic Research on SR&ED – Abstracts

This page presents a selection of SR&ED-related research on topics of interest to statisticians, economists, and policy academics as well as abstracts for each article.

Visit our Academic Research on SR&ED – Abstracts page to answer questions such as “What do companies that take advantage of R&D funding have in common?”, “How is this funding distributed?”, “What determines the effectiveness of research tax credits and innovation grants?, and more.

Public Opinion

SR&ED in the News Media

SR&ED has a long history of back-and-forth discussion or outright criticisms over the changing policies, administration and review practices that govern this multi-billion dollar Canadian tax incentive. Prominent newspapers and media outlets such as The Globe & Mail and CBC are particularly fond of launching scathing criticisms against the program– sometimes based only on the opinions of a single, potentially biased source.

Visit our SR&ED in the News Media page to see what is and has been said in the news media about the SR&ED program.


In the following pages we have reviewed the reports, data, and SR&ED-related information to see how it all connects and the impacts on and by the SR&ED program.

Analysis: Trends in SR&ED – Processing Times, Number of Claimants, Value

On this page we have summarized the important trends in SR&ED claim applications—with respect to processing times, number of claims, claimable expenditures, and tax credits—observed over decades.

Visit our Analysis: Trends in SR&ED – Processing Times, Number of Claimants, Value page to see the evolution of the SR&ED claim process at the CRA and how the program got to where it is today.

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