A&E activities is about solving a technical problem related to customer orders, or changes in product application. A & E firms routinely conduct qualifying research under contract with their clients. Neither the contract, nor payments received for services under the contract, will necessarily disqualify the activity from qualifying for the R & D credit. If there is the existence of some degree of economic risk, and the right to apply the knowledge obtained through these activities, the R & D process is retained.
If you want to know the R&D qualifying activities for Architects and Engineering Firms, download the white paper