The only type of entity that can claim the Research & Development Incentive is a company. Those companies have to have a turnover of $20 million to be able to claim the 43.5% rebate on eligible research & development expenditure. For companies with turnovers over $20 million, the rebate to be claimed is 38.5%.
Companies must have expended $20,000 in a year to be eligible for the research & development incentive payment.
So where does it all start. I think it starts with an idea. What then needs to be done is to check prior art to see that someone else has not already registered this concept as a patent or even done some work on it & published ideas as to how something might work.
My recommendation is that a Research & Development Plan is produced. You don't have to produce a plan if your turnover is under $20 million, but I think it's a good idea. If you're subjected to a tax audit, it will help your case if you have a Research and Development Plan.
A budget should be prepared as to what this project is going to cost and then you can submit a proposal to the Board of Directors for their review as to whether they'll approve this project to undertake a research and development activity.