Bayer AG (2011)
Consolidated Financial Statements – Notes [extract]
4 Basic principles, methods and critical accounting estimates [extract]
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RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT EXPENSES
For accounting purposes, research expenses are defined as costs incurred for current or planned investigations undertaken with the prospect of gaining new scientific or technical knowledge and understanding. Development expenses are defined as costs incurred for the application of research findings or specialist knowledge to production, production methods, services or goods prior to the commencement of commercial production or use.
Research and development expenses are incurred in the Bayer Group for in-house research and development activities as well as numerous research and development collaborations and alliances with third parties.
Research and development expenses mainly comprise the costs for active ingredient discovery, clinical studies, and research and development activities in the areas of application technology and engineering, field trials, regulatory approvals and approval extensions.
Research costs cannot be capitalized. The conditions for capitalization of development costs are closely defined: an intangible asset must be recognized if, and only if, there is reasonable certainty of receiving future cash flows that will cover an asset"s carrying amount. Since our own development projects are often subject to regulatory approval procedures and other uncertainties, the conditions for the capitalization of costs incurred before receipt of approvals are not normally satisfied.
In the case of research and development collaborations, a distinction is generally made between payments on contract signature, upfront payments, milestone payments and cost reimbursements for work performed. If an intangible asset (such as the right to use an active ingredient) is acquired in connection with any of these payment obligations, the respective payment is capitalized even if it is uncertain whether further development work will ultimately lead to the production of a saleable product. Reimbursements of the cost of research and development work are recognized in profit or loss.