A report titled “Innovation Canada: A Call to Action” was released by the Independent Panel of Federal Support to Research and Development (R&D) on October 17, 2011. This report provided a comprehensive review of the federal programs that support business innovation, and specifically made key recommendations on how the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program should be revamped.
The 6 recommendations made by the Jenkins Report are as follows:
1. Create an Industrial Research and Innovation Council with a clear business innovation mandate.
2. Simplify compliance and administration of SR&ED. Redeploy funds from the SR&ED program to a more complete set of direct support initiatives.
– Limit SR&ED to labour-related costs to reduce compliance and administration overhead.
– Improve the CRA’s pre-claim service.
– Reduce SR&ED assistance by introducing incentives that encourage growth and profitability of SMEs, while decreasing the refundable portion of the SR&ED tax credit over time.
– Provide data on the performance of the SR&ED tax credit to provide more accountability.
– Adapt all changes through a phased-in approach to provide the business sector time to plan and adjust.
3. Make business innovation a core objective of procurement.
4. Transform the National Research Council (NRC) into a large-scale collaborative R&D centre involving business, the universities, and the provinces.
5. Provide risk capital to high-growth innovative firms.
6. Establish a clear federal voice for innovation, and engage in dialogue with the provinces.