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Mirak Communications Inc. Submission in Response to Joint Finance Canada Canada Revenue Agency Consultation Improving the Scientific Research and Experimental Development Tax Incentives:

I believe that there are relatively simple, fast and inexpensive ways to extend the SRED programme to significantly help research and development in Canada.

SRED Exchange

Currently there is no way for companies to search for other companies at the leading edge of research and development in Canada. The SRED programme provides the best way of identifying such groups.

I recommend that you include a brief questionnaire in your SRED claims form asking if the company wants other companies to contact them with regard to their research and technology for such things as -

  • selling or licensing it
  • co-developing it
  • marketing it
  • finding new applications for it
  • consulting relating to this technology

Approved persons or companies looking for a technology or expertise would search through your database to get the closest matches. They would then send a communications to the company in which both parties' identities are anonymous. If the inquiring company looks interesting to the recipient, they could then check them out and contact them and continue from there.

This SRED Exchange process could be expanded to include access by foreign companies.

Problem Solving Experts Directory

This would be a similar process to the above SRED Exchange. The goal is to create a database of Canadian's involved in SRED who would be willing to participate in online problem solving and innovation creation, and be paid for doing so.

The recent book Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything by Tapscott and Williams boldly claims that much of the competitive advancement that organizations will gain in the future will be through "wisdom of crowds" type collaboration that will take place over the internet – to solve problems and create innovation.

The science behind the "wisdom of crowds" is explained by Scott Page in his new book The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies. His models show that by connecting people together with good cognitive abilities who have diverse perspectives and adequate understandings of the issue, you can reliably generate better solutions or innovations than one or a few people can achieve. SRED claimants would be the best source of such people.

I suggest that the SRED programme creates a pilot project to try this out. This would involve first seeing if a process to connect people over the internet to solve problems can work (can reliably and quickly produce better results than current methods) and if it is successful to get an indication of how many SRED claimant companies would want to participate. [My company can provide you with an online problem solving system that applies this new science involving a relatively simple genetic algorithm type process.]