1. Attempting to make an appreciable improvement to new or existing products, technology, processes or services, although this does not necessarily mean ground-breaking, innovative, or novel work. If companies are aiming to make their products or process cheaper, faster, smaller, or better in some way, then this may qualify as R&D.
2. Overcoming technological uncertainties or challenges, especially if the solution will not be immediately obvious to a qualified professional. The company may need to go through a “trial and error” process to achieve the required solution.