Back in June the Australian Academy of Science reported the state of agriculture research was such that it was “a highly unattractive” for starting scientists (CMM June 21). The Academy suggested $100m funding over a decade for research, translation and commercialisation would help.
New figures from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics certainly show public funding for rural R&D grew slowly, up just $200m in the decade to 2014-15, due in large part to lower state government spending.
But the private sector rocketed ahead, growing by $600m, to $1.6m in the same period. Another growing source was the R&D tax concession, which provided $55m in 2005-06 and $200m ten years on. Yes that tax concession the one that entrepreneurs love but university researchers think is a touch too generous.