NorthBridge Consultants Blog

Program Closing: CME SMART Advanced Technology for Global Growth

The 3rd application intake for CME SMART Advanced Technology for Global Growth program will be closing on July 31, 2016 at 11:59pm, as funds have been almost fully committed.  

Applications received by this date will be evaluated and the most valuable projects may receive funding; however, applications submitted after this date will be declined and retained  for future evaluation should additional funding become available.

Applications for the SMART Operational Assessments program for Northern Ontario will continue to be accepted. The SMART Productivity Assessments program supports Northern Ontario manufacturers by funding 50% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $15,000. This funding aims to help companies determine opportunities in product and process improvements, quality, lean manufacturing, information systems, human resources, management systems, and market analysis.

Companies who have complete the assessment are eligible to apply for funding towards improvements in productivity through FedNor’s Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario.

Employee Spotlight: Tina Zhou

Tina Zhou joined the NorthBridge engineering department last December and quickly became an integral part of our team. As an SR&ED Specialist, her role involves meeting with clients to discuss their development work and examining their technical documentation in order to identify eligible SR&ED projects. She also works closely with our technical writing staff to prepare Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) project narratives. Tina particularly enjoys the research aspect of her job, as it has exposed her to some of the most cutting-edge practices in a variety of industries.

Tina holds a BASc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto and has experience working on pressure-relief product manufacturing, and has conducted market research for ready-to-serve food products. She has also been involved with Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) outreach through the University of Toronto. At NorthBridge, Tina is able to leverage her breadth of industry experience to work with clients in the food, plastics, and metalforming industries.

Originally born in China, Tina’s family immigrated to Canada when she was thirteen. She previously resided in the GTA and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario. In her spare time, Tina enjoys drawing and painting and travelling to warm, tropical destinations.  Tina is also passionate about animal welfare: she has recently gotten involved with Toronto Cat Rescue and hopes to one day run a barn and work with rescue groups to provide a home for animals in need.

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Toronto Region Board of Trade – July 11 Workshop for Trade Accelerator Program

“A lower Canadian dollar, limited domestic growth and a strengthening U.S. economy have established the right conditions for Canadian firms to go global.” – Toronto Region Board of Trade

On Monday July 11, 2016, the Toronto Region Board of Trade will host a workshop for its Trade Accelerator Program (TAP) members to discuss how to leverage global exports to increase corporate growth. Through its Lead & Supporting Partners, TAP GTA gives companies access to Canada’s top exporting advisors, resources and contacts. Northbridge Consultants’ Vice President of Business Services, Gerry Fung, will be joining the panel to discuss various government funding opportunities that can assist with global growth.

Resolving claimants’ SR&ED concerns: Changes to CRA Guidelines

On May 30, 2016, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) made the following changes to the guidelines for resolving claimants’ SR&ED concerns in order to make the administrative review process faster and more consistent:

  • Form RC532: Request for Administrative Review has been introduced to ensure that claimants provide the necessary information to the CRA to evaluate and address their requests.
  • A National SR&ED Administrative Review Intake Centre has been set up to help monitor the SR&ED Administrative Reviews by distributing requests and tracking progress as well as outcomes.
  • A Request for an Administrative Review can no longer be initiated prior to the claimant receiving the Proposal Package with the results of the SR&ED review. This will allow the claimant to fully understand the results of the SR&ED review and the CRA’s position so that they can best address the CRA with a full explanation of their issue or complaint.

When concerns arise during a technical and/or financial review of an SR&ED claim, the claimant is encouraged by the CRA to take the following steps to resolve their concerns, before the file is closed and processed:

  • Step 1 – Talk with the Reviewer: Since issues often arise due to lack of information or misunderstanding of the claim, many concerns can be resolved by  talking directly to the Research and Technology Advisor (RTA) and/or Financial Reviewer (FR) as soon as possible.
  • Step 2 – Contact the Review Manager: If claimant concerns are not resolved through discussion with the reviewer, the claimant may involve the Research and Technology Manager (RTM) and/or Financial Review Manager (FRM) who will review the case and will work with the claimant and the Reviewer to resolve any concerns.
  • Step 3 – Request an Administrative review: If concerns by the claimant have still not been fully addressed by the review manager, claimants should then complete the administrative review form and send it into the National SR&ED Administrative Review Intake Centre, which will be forwarded to the local SR&ED Assistant Director within three business days for processing.

The key to a successful review is being well prepared, including having all your documentation ready and on-hand. With years of experience working with claimants and reviewers, NorthBridge can help to ensure that any and all client and CRA concerns are successfully resolved.

Beyond Manufacturing Limits: Printing The Future

Additive manufacturing technology is exponentially growing in popularity in the consumer and small entrepreneur markets, and more recently, in the manufacturing industry, as new 3D printing approaches and 3D-printable polymers, with a wide range of physical properties, are developed to offer limitless possibilities in numerous commercial applications. 3D printers manufacture directly from a computer model, enabling the design and manufacturing of highly detailed, and precise novel shapes that surpass modern manufacturing ­limitations.

At the forefront of the additive manufacturing revolution, Objex Unlimited Inc. is a Canada-wide, full-service, 3D solutions provider and 3D product reseller based out of Toronto. They provide 3D printing, scanning, design and consultation services with their unparalleled expertise in 3D technologies, which includes 3D Inkjet Printing, 3D Printing, 3D Wax Printing, Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) and Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) applications.

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As authorized resellers of 3D Systems, Artec, MarkForged, LMI, Afinia, and Geomagic technologies, Objex Unlimited provides affordable, professional 3D printing solutions. Combining cutting edge technology, art and engineering, Objex unlimited has the most diverse 3D printing bureau in Canada to bring ideas and designs to life by creating working parts, beautiful full-colour models, and rapid prototypes for a wide range of clientele in education, automotive, architecture, and manufacturing.

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Like other manufacturing sectors, research and experimental development in the field of additive manufacturing technology can be eligible for SR&ED tax credits provided that adequate contemporaneous documentation is generated as experimental development trials occur. As rapid prototyping becomes more widespread, it is recommended that all companies that utilize rapid prototyping look into recapturing their costs through government incentive programs, such as SR&ED tax credits.

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