Long before COVID-19 had a name people were arguing about the R&D tax incentive. They probably still will be when there’s a vaccine
But Science and Technology Australia is keen to keep the high ground now, arguing R&D will be needed to reboot the recovery. Which is why new CEO Misha Schubert proposes any savings from the incentive should go to a new Research Translation Fund (like the MRFF but not for medicos).
STA also wants a 20 per cent “collaboration premium” for R&D collaborations with research institutes, universities or government agencies.
Labor signed up to half this idea before the last election, committing to a 10 per cent premium (CMM May 8 2019).
The government’s attempt to claw back savings from the research and development spend have gone nowhere for years and that is where they are widely expected stay if a Senate committee ever brings down a report on the latest legislation. A modest new research fund might turn out to be a price the government will end up paying to make some savings.