Free Call: 1300 287 472

News and Research

CSIRO’s New Report Pushes Further for Innovation & R&D in Australia

Australia’s colonial and federal past, its geographical segregation, huge land mass and a small population have vastly influenced the country’s industries, technologies and research institutions. This resource-rich history led to what is more frequently known as the ‘mining boom’. In light of this, Australian industrial research and development (R&D) in the second half of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was largely focused on the agriculture and mining industries.

With the mining sector set to slow down in 2016, Australia is now endeavouring to improve resources, technology and innovation. To that end, the CSIRO has recently released a report that creates an all-encompassing road map of global outcomes for the next 15 years.

Publicised this week, the report titled Australia 2030: Navigating our Uncertain Future, outlines four probable scenarios constructed on pre-existing modelling, scientific data and an array of notorious global trends.

Essentially, the report is a blanket of opportunities when it comes to the future of geopolitics, global weather, resource allocation, population shifts, trade, biosecurity, health, emerging technologies and industry developments by the year 2030.

In regards to research and development (R&D), the reports describes that technological innovation, driven by research and development (R&D) investment, contributes around 50 percent of GDP growth in developed countries. As the report words it, “this is the ‘innovation imperative’.” In a progressively interrelated and rapidly fluctuating world, Australia risks being left behind if it fails to innovate, build innovation capacity and invest in R&D.

To put in context, the report highlights that there is a significant innovation gap in Australia. The 2015 Global Innovation Index ranked Australia 10th in the world for innovation inputs but 72nd for innovation efficiency. Furthermore, Australia ranked last in the OECD for research-business collaboration, and our relative rankings for STEM education are in decline.

Overall, to build our future in Australia, we must understand the impending challenges and leverage our research sector to transform those challenges into opportunities. As Australia barrels towards an election on July 2, major parties have been announcing excerpts of their policies as time passes. Thus, whether or not the suggestions outlined in the report will be observed in future policy is yet to be known.

However, in the interim, one currently available tool for accelerating productivity and cash flow is the research and development (R&D) tax incentive. In effect, more than $18 billion of R&D expenditure was registered for 2013-2014 nationally according to the Australian Taxation Office. Nonetheless, the incentive is actually rather undersubscribed and is claimed by only 13, 600 companies per annum. This is particularly surprising as approximately 2 million entities could be eligible for the incentive. If you think you may be eligible, contact one of our specialist R&D Tax consultants to find out more about the scheme.

Comments are closed.