Clevor Technologies – Tax Court of Canada accepts that using metaheuristics is not SR&ED

The taxpayer’s systematic process of trying different combinations of coding changes to its software to eliminate problems of integrating that software with that of a third party (Oracle), which had made poorly documented coding changes, was characterized by Russell J as a “trial and error” procedure that was “routine engineering” and not SR&ED.

Russell J also accepted the view of the Crown’s expert that a second mooted “SR&ED” effort to enhance the ability of the taxpayer’s software to calculate optimal timelines for concurrently run projects used an established methodology termed "metaheuristics, which in essence search the solution space based on some algorithms and converge to a solution … [and] did not involve experimentation or analyses to resolve scientific or technological unknowns,” so that for this activity as well, the claimed SR&ED credits were denied.

Neal Armstrong. Summary of Clevor Technologies Inc. v. The Queen, 2019 TCC 166 under s. 248(1) - SR&ED.