Nothing innovative in allocating R&D tax incentive savings

The government has responded, very quietly, to the Innovation and Science Australia plan for a policy through to 2030.  The ISA proposals (CMM Jan 30) include better targeting of the Research and Development Tax Incentive and government funding “audacious challenges” in genomics and precision medicine, protecting the Barrier Reef and clean hydrogen fuel, all covered to an extend in the new research infrastructure plan and other initiatives.

Of the 30 recommendations, the government only rejected those on VET and R&D funding. ISA proposed reform of VET to make it “responsive to new priorities presented by innovation, automation and new technologies.” In particular ISA recommended performance metrics, more and better information for students and integration with higher education. To which the feds responded they would see how present reforms go first.

ISA also proposed savings from the R&D tax incentive and directing them to applied research agencies, such as the Cooperative Research Centres. While the budget reduced the incentive in the budget, it did not spend the savings on research. As the ISA response records, “the government did not consider that the R&D Tax Incentive was the appropriate mechanism to address the systemic cultural and structural impediments to collaborative R&D.”


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