October 28th, 2019
The AFR has reported that the NSW Government is to form a new advisory council, chaired by David Gonski with a brief to make NSW “the R&D leader within Australia and a world-class contributor”.
Forming of the NSW R&D council has also come among calls from the Business Council of Australia for more to be done nationally.
The AFR article highlights that Australia has fallen to 22nd in the latest Global Innovation Index, which measures a country’s inventiveness from research and development investments.
The article has also noted that there should be more coordination, including making it easier for universities, governments and businesses to work together in a strategic way.
These actions by the NSW Government and Business Council of Australia should be noted by the federal government, particularly with respect to:
- Consideration of the collaboration premium within the R&D Tax Incentive to provide companies an uplifted rate of offset for expenditure with academic institutions. The collaboration premium was a recommendation arising from the Ferris review of the programme, however was not adopted by the government as policy when they introduced proposed legislative amendments to the R&D Tax Incentive;
- Any future re-introduction of the proposed legislative amendments to the R&D Tax Incentive. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had advised the media recently that the proposed reforms have not been shelved and may be reintroduced shortly. The bill to enact previously proposed reforms (Treasury Laws Amendment (Making Sure Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share of Tax in Australia and Other Measures) Bill 2018), did not pass through the Senate last year, and a Senate Economics Legislation Committee recommended that the bill should be deferred from consideration until further analysis of the bill’s impact is undertaken, particularly with respect to stakeholders’ concerns around the proposed intensity threshold and refundable offset cap.