If the inventors of the technological innovations depicted in the Star Trek franchise conducted their research and development (R&D) in Canada and had been Canadian-Controlled Private Corporations, they could have been eligible for funding using the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) program. In SR&ED, there are several industries and sub-sectors that are eligible for this funding. Let’s take a look at four technological innovations shown in Star Trek and which sub-sector and industry they would fall under:

Doctor Noonian Soong’s Androids: Soong went through a few iterations of androids before he developed Data, a robotic system that was stable and technologically advanced enough to work safely side by side with his human counterparts. Data had the capacity to learn from his surroundings and fellow crew mates. Soong’s work in cybernetics could have been eligible for funding through the artificial intelligence sub-sector in the Information Technology Industry.

VISOR: This was a medical device that provided vision to the blind. It sent electromagnetic signals to the brain using neural implants. Because this was an electromedical device that used known electromagnetic signals in a new way as well as improved patient care, the inventors of the VISOR could have been eligible for funding through the electromedical and electrotherapeutic apparatus sub-sectors in the Biotech Industry.

Tricorder: This was a highly advanced device to scan, record, and analyze biological, electromagnetic, and chemical data. There had been several iterations of the tricorder, which were used by engineers and medical doctors. Because this was a device designed to improve the detection and analysis of data, this invention could have been eligible for SR&ED funding through the data transmission protocols and firmware and software development sub-sectors in the Information Technology Industry.

Holodeck – One of the main purposes of this system was to allow the crew to train or unwind from a stressful day using interactive gaming technology. A plethora of stories and situations could be programmed into the holodeck. Although this invention could potentially receive funding through the gaming sub-sector in the Information Technology Industry because of advanced development of a gaming engine, the interactive property of the holodeck aligns with eligibility criteria for funding through the Digital Gaming Industry.

You may have noticed that the inventors went through several design iterations as well made improvements upon existing technology. In SR&ED, the more revisions a project has, the better.