SR&ED & The Brewing Industry: Innovation and Challenges

A guide on how to maximize the SR&ED program for your business.

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Expert Opinion
January 18, 2024

The brewing industry, a realm of constant experimentation and creativity, has undergone significant evolution over the years. Today’s brewers face a dynamic and uncertain business environment, marked by disruptive technologies and supply chain impacts. The industry has seen a shift towards technological advancements in various areas, such as crop chemistry changes, automation, software projects, energy efficiency, dealcoholized, beer filterability, hop forward beers and gluten-free products and equipment innovations.

Evolution of the Brewing Industry

Experimentation is at the heart of brewing, but not all experiments qualify for Investment Tax Credits (ITCs) from the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program. The program demands a clear technological objective, uncertainties, and the generation of new knowledge advancing the state of the art. The brewing industry grapples with rejected SR&ED claims, often with claims focusing solely on product improvement rather than technological advancements. However, opportunities arise in the face of the changing business landscape, emphasizing the importance of SR&ED funding for experimental development.

Challenges in the Brewing Industry

The industry faces several challenges, including raw input quality issues due to crop chemistry changes from heat stress. Increased protein levels in barley impact product characteristics, particularly in craft beer production. Automation, while promising, presents technological challenges outside of turnkey systems. Energy efficiency, sustainability, specialized processes for dealcoholized and gluten-free products, and equipment innovations are crucial for quality improvement but require ongoing advancements to meet the demands of an evolving market.

Ayming Services for the Brewing Industry

We, at Ayming, play a crucial role in helping brewers navigate the complexities of SR&ED claims. Our tailored services ensure that the CRA understands the technological story, presenting claims that are “accepted as filed” without reviews or follow-ups. Our approach is akin to crafting a story for the reader at CRA, striking a balance between technical details and plain language to emphasize hypotheses, experimentation, and results.

1. Crafting a Technological Story

We work closely with clients, ensuring that SR&ED claims tell a compelling story for CRA. We balance technical language with plain English to emphasize experimentation and results, making the case easily understandable to non-brewers. We focus more on the underlying technology of the beer making process.

2. Research and Industry Trends

Our success lies in extensive research and staying current with industry trends. Scientific papers, industry publications, and other research form the basis of strong SR&ED claims, enabling precise scientific arguments about how a project advances the state of the art. With our years of experience claiming working with the beer industry, we are able to identify the technological gap that exist in the beer making methods.

3. Becoming Part of the Team

Like the collaborative nature of brewing, we become an integral part of the client’s team. We offer continuous support the long term, identifying technological uncertainties, advising on project structure, and ensuring the most eligible and favorable SR&ED ITCs possible.

Written by Peter Riddell

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