PKF Australia

Accountants and Business Advisers

The Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda

The Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda

Last month, the Government released The Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda - a high level directional statement of the Government's approach to Industry and Innovation policy. This briefing note summarises the key policies as they affect SME's Innovation, Government Grants and R&D. Part 2 of this briefing note addresses some of the early implications of the new China Free Trade Agreement.

The Government's Innovation Agenda

The R&D Tax incentive remains the Government's flagship business innovation support mechanism. The tax incentive is a self-assessing tax credit and is very generous for companies investing in R&D who are in loss and have turnover of less than $20m.

R&D grants have been consolidated and reorganised from what was a patchwork grant program administered by individual Government departments, to what it perceives is a more streamlined and accessible Entrepreneurs Infrastructure Program. The EIP effectively repackages the old Enterprise Connect, Researchers in Business and Commercialisation Australia grants into a single program. It has four core streams:

1. FREE Business Evaluations
2. Business Growth Grants of up to $20,000 (dollar matched) subject to completing a business evaluation
3. Research Connection grants of up to $100,000 (dollar matched)
4. Commercialising Ideas grants (yet to be launched)

Access to the IEP is limited to companies with at least $1.5m turnover, and is not a start-up grant program.

The Government is investing in the former Government's growth precincts and the NSW Government's Knowledge Hubs concept to form what it calls Industry Growth Centres. The IGC's are intended to promote stronger working relationships between research institutions, universities and industry. The Government has announced five IGC's based around the following industry sectors that it considers present significant growth opportunities for Australia in areas where we already have or can develop competitive advantage:

  • Food and agribusiness;
  • Mining technology & services;
  • Oil, gas & energy resources;
  • Medical technology and pharmaceuticals; and
  • Advanced manufacturing.

A web of current Commonwealth and State sector or industry specific grants remain.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you an established business with a good track record of growth and considering a significant new capital investment or is a heavy investor in R&D?
  • Are you a start-up business looking for assistance?

If the answer to either of these questions is 'Yes' - it's time to act!

What should you do?

Our aim is to help clients access Government funding whether it is the R&D tax incentive or Government grants and support.

Contact us today.

Download the Government's Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda


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