Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda

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Response to Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda

7 December 2015: The Federal Government today announced details of its new National Innovation and Science Agenda, outlining its plans to foster and incentivise innovation in Australia.

Helen Fisher, Lead Tax Partner for Life Sciences and Health Care, Deloitte commented:

“The Government should be congratulated for what it has achieved over the past three months in this area. The National Innovation and Science Agenda released today is a welcome first step to encouraging greater innovation, including commercialisation, in Australia.

“The investor incentive, which is based on the UK’s successful Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme for small start-ups, is less generous, but has the potential to create an immediate flow of capital to the industries that drive innovation. It will help kick start this vital part of the Australian economy, although most measures will only be introduced from 2017.

“Separately, although not part of the Agenda, we also understand an Australian patent box is still being considered and the Board of Taxation is currently reviewing proposals around this particular incentive. The Australian Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Incentive, developed by industry bodies, such as AusBiotech, Medical Technologies Association of Australia, Export Council of Australia, and Cook Medical, has been put forward as a model, and we understand it is compliant with the OECD’s recently released BEPS reports.

“There are also a number of other measures currently stimulating innovation culture across a variety of government portfolios and included in the Agenda, including a stronger focus on STEM education, immigration rules and relaxation of bankruptcy rules without promoting undue recklessness.

“The Agenda seeks to provide a rounded approach that includes most players in the innovation ecosystem, including universities, start-ups, investors, and skills and talent. Having a complete suite of measures will provide a strong platform from which Australian companies can compete in the global market.”

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