Category Archives: Amazing Research and Development

5 Software Development Trends to Watch

As anticipated, 2016 produced innovative trends in the areas of big data and cloud computing, withInnovation trends 2016 continued development in mobile spheres and “wearable” technology becoming a game-changer across a multitude of industries.

While we will see these trends continue into the new year, we expect 2017 to hold even more innovation in store. Continue reading to learn the 5 software development trends to watch for in the year to come.

Smaller teams, increased collaboration

While DevOps (development operations) is not a new trend in software development, collaboration between developers, engineers, and IT specialists continues to expand, with more tools becoming available to facilitate group work.

Open source tools like Docker and Apache have existed for some time to assist DevOps teams. Over the next year, watch for a rise in purpose-built applications to bridge the workflow of entire teams in real time.

Priority on privacy

Data breaches provided plenty of news over the past year, from Yahoo!’s 500 million compromised accounts to major cyber attacks on LinkedIn, Tumblr, NSA and, perhaps most notably, presidential candidates.

The spotlight is on digital security now more than ever, and software developers have set privacy as a top priority. Rather than assigning a security specialist to teams, some firms are now training all developers in security and privacy so as to safeguard development at all levels. Additional tools like IBM AppScan are likely to surface to aid this trend.

Subscription over Ownership

With improved online capabilities around the world making way for cloud computing, we continue to see the rise of subscription-based sales over the traditional purchase of software.

Adobe and Sage are two big names that now provide their software via download, offering a variety of subscription packages to users. Developers will be called on to advance this framework and to improve applications for online customer support.

Predictive Analytics

Creating and using big data has been a remarkable achievement of recent years, but it has been up to the user to interpret the data and employ it in decision-making.

Despite conversations as to the value of predictive analytics, we can now look for software to assist with this process. Oracle and IBM are making headway on this front, and a variety of industry-specific tools are likely to be released throughout 2017.

Real-time elements

Mobile technology has been around for some time now, but our increased dependence on mobile devices is creating ripple effects that should not go unmentioned. Cell phone and tablet usage has now overtaken that of the computer—a trend that is envisioned only to continue.

In an age where consumers expect instant results, the pressure is on websites and applications to feature more real-time elements. Look for developers to focus in this area over the following year.

If the achievements of 2016 were any indication, the year to follow should provide an abundance of innovation in software development.

Innovation funding for software development

Is your company developing software in-house, hiring a consulting company to design custom software, or are you a software developer?  Many of these activities are eligible for R&D funding in Canada through programs like SR&ED.  The following Checklist for Software Developers can help get you started.

Our experienced experts at Enhanced Capital Recover will be able to identify all of your eligible projects and assist you in recovering SR&ED tax credits to which you are entitled.

Even if you currently complete your own R&D tax credits application, our experts will be able to validate and optimize your scientific descriptions as well as your eligible expenses. We will assist you in maximizing your return on investment while minimizing the risk of audit by Revenue Canada.

With our contingency based fees, we completely eliminate the risk of making a claim. We do the work up front and only get paid when your refund is secured.  Contact us today for a free, no obligation consultation.


Food Industry Research and Development Funding Examples

When looking to future opportunities in the food industry, kale and quinoa may be yesterday’s research and develpment in the food industry funding examplesnews.  What does that future consist of?  Would you believe tiny yellow, green, red or orange seeds of the legume family, called pulses?  In fact, pulses are poised to be the next big food trend.  In this article we’ll explain this trend as well as provide some food industry research and development funding examples to show you how your company can maximize all funding opportunities.

What are pulses?

The term “pulse” refers only to the dried seed of the legume family. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recognizes 11 types of pulses, with the most common varieties being dry beans, dry peas, chickpeas and lentils.

With 2016 named the International Year of Pulses, the spotlight shines on a food crop largely ignored by food processors in North America.  Despite this, pulses are a huge crop for Canadian farmers and exports.  In fact Canada is the world’s largest producer and exporter of lentils and dry peas to countries such as India, Turkey, Egypt, China and Bangladesh. In 2015 Canada exported six million tonnes of pulses worth nearly $4.2 billion to more than 150 markets around the globe, according to Pulse Canada, a national industry association.

What are the new applications of pulses in food products?

A credit to new research and development, however, pulses have revealed themselves to be versatile ingredients.  As consumer awareness continues to grow around the nutritional benefits of pulses, the number of products fortified with pulses will continue to expand.

Already food manufacturers have added pulses or pulse products to innovative food products such as breads, cereals and baking products; pasta and sauces; meat and dairy-free alternatives; snacks; and beverages.

Pulse R&D receive close to a million dollars in Federal funding

While a large portion of pulses produced in Canada are intended for exports, the last decade has seen a focus on enhancing secondary processing, thanks to organizations such as the Canadian International Grains Institute. Ten years ago the non-profit launched a pulse-processing and specialty milling facility and a project that assessed pulse quality with developing methods for dehulling and splitting pulses effectively and efficiently.

This early work laid the foundation for investigating milling methods and how they affect the functionality of pulse flours as ingredients in food product applications such as baked goods, Asian noodles, extruded snacks and batter-coated products.

The Canadian International Grains Institute latest project, which received a funding boost of over $950,000 from the federal government last year, looks at the nutrition of pulses how it translates to applications in food.

Examples of food innovation

Examples of innovations using pulses include looking at bean flours as an egg substitute in baked goods.  Some food manufacturers have already been able to develop several recipes eliminating eggs, including a completely vegan, nut-free, bean-flour based French macaron.

Another product is called “Fiberger,” an innovative, nutritious, high fibre meat extender made from red lentils, green peas and chickpeas. Created by Caileigh Smith and Evelyn Helps of the University of Guelphm Fiberger can be used in many different ways. “For example, adding Fiberger to patties and meatballs can reduce the amount of meat required, while adding fibre and protein to enhance the nutrition of the meal. Fiberger can also help families decrease their food costs by giving them a healthy, affordable ingredient to add to their protein dishes.”

Get funded today

Are you an agribusiness or food manufacturing company?  To find out how your organization’s food and agriculture activities could result funding, contact Enhanced Capital Recovery today for a no-risk consultation.

The Genius Behind Pokemon and the Lessons About Innovation

The Pokémon phenomenon is too big for anyone not to notice. Pokemon Go hit No. 1 in the App pokemon goStore almost immediately, and it’s changed the behavior of thousands of people, who have literally left their desktop screens and televisions to roam their neighborhoods in search of Pokémon to capture.

The game has gotten so big, it’s even been reported to be more popular than the previously most downloaded app, Tinder.  According to Digital Vision, “Pokémon Go is installed on more U.S. Android devices than Tinder.” This just two days after its release!  And not only has it achieved more downloads, it’s also far exceeding other apps in terms of daily active users – an impressive 60%!

For anyone in the innovation space, this phenomenon begs some important questions, as well government fundingas some essential notes about government grants and financing opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs: What is the innovation driving the game’s success and what lessons about innovation does it shed light on(especially in the digital age)? Where is this technology heading next, and what are the opportunities for innovators and entrepreneurs?

What is the innovation behind the Pokémon phenomenon?   

The majority of onlookers point to augmented reality (AR) as the novel factor driving the Pokemon phenomenon.  Examining the game in more depth, however, you will find that AR actually plays a minimal role in its success. The only time you use the camera for an AR experience is when catching a virtual Pokémon. Many gamers, in fact, turn this feature off to save battery life and make it easier to catch the Pokémon. Not a slight on the role of AR as part of the game’s success, but what really makes the game interesting is the use of geolocation data – real-time maps with key locations highlighted all around you.

How this came about is relevant.   The game was built on many years of geocached data of real-world objects and locations from a game called Ingress, built by Pokémon Go developer Niantic Labs.

In the early days of Ingress, Niantic formed a beginning pool of portal locations for the game based on historical markers, as well as a data set of public artwork mined from geo-tagged photos on Google. They then asked Ingress players to submit places they thought were worthy of being portals. 15 million submissions later, 5 million of these locations were established worldwide. The Ingress portal data set was so robust, it was chosen as the starting point for Pokémon Go.

What does this say about how innovation happens?

The big lesson here is leverage.  The first levers in this success story are the tech and data that was already established: GPS, Google Earth.  Then a critical mass of users to create the ubiquitous platform: the smart phone.  Then game players themselves are leveraged to create user generated content on a global scale.  Ostensibly the innovation in Pokemon Go is AR, but practically speaking the real innovation was leveraging what was already there in a brilliant way.

What does the Pokémon phenomenon say about where tech is heading?

Without all of the levers being in place, this game would not have been possible –and no one would have been thinking about the potential of exploring geo-location data in this way.

Now that it has been done, it’s opened up a new avenue for similar developments. It’s interesting to think about how other locations or destinations could use this concept. Think about Disneyland, for example, having a mini-game inside the park and allowing people to collect Disney brand characters, battle for locations, or anything else they dream up as a virtual and augmented experience.

Innovators and entrepreneurs get your pencils out and start scratching out ideas.  It’s not about repeating what Pokémon Go has done, but about learning the lesson from how they innovated.

Use what is already there in a new way.

Financial leverage for innovators and entrepreneurs

Keep building and make plans to build more.  We’re lucky to have a rich government granting and financing environment in Canada to support these efforts.  The following is a bit about the world of financial leverage for innovators and entrepreneurs.

Contact us for a free consultation to learn more about R&D funding opportunities!

Amazing R&D; Research and Development Inspiration

Is there such a thing as unlimited energy?  This video is inspiring and explains the vision of fusion energy in an easy to understand way.  Lockheed Martin Skunk Works®, is making advancements in the development of fusion energy, the ultimate form of renewable power.

Enhanced Capital Recovery is working to inspire great Research and Development and spread the word about amazing R&D that’s happening right now.

As a top tier SR&ED Consulting firm serving clients across Canada, Enhanced Capital Recovery’s business is maximizing government incentives in the areas of Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits for our clients. Since we are a highly specialized SR&ED firm, we offer clients depth of experience, important strategic relationships and insights, a systematized approach and an effective tracking and follow up system.

Contact us to find out how your R&D project could be eligible for tax credits.