Visas: The Golden Ticket to Conquering Innovation Fatigue?

February 22nd, 2016

passport-315266_960_720In a bid to broaden the economy away from a reliance on mining, the Australian government launched the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) last December. As noted in the agenda, one of the Government’s strategic priorities is to attract the “best and brightest” entrepreneurial skills and talent into Australia.  As a result, the government aims to support innovation through the creation of an entrepreneur visa in Australia.

Essentially, the new entrepreneur visa will be established for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas and financial backing from a third party. In relation to this, Christopher Pyne,  the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science,  said,  “It is critical for Australia’s prosperity and growth, that we not only tap into the best entrepreneurial minds in Australia, but we also make it easier for talent from overseas to contribute to this country’s innovative future.”  Certainly, for innovation to truly flourish, a skilled workforce expediting ideas to reality is a necessity.

Ultimately, a tweaking of Australia’s visa system could attract technology entrepreneurs to our shores instead of other overseas markets. Creating an environment where innovation can thrive can be greatly swayed by immigration. With a population where one in four people are born overseas as well as a migration framework tilted toward skills, Australia is already well positioned to kick start a new period of growth. In addition, research elsewhere highlights just how important immigration is to innovation.

Israel, for example, is well-known for nurturing innovation and entrepreneurship with more startups and venture capital investment than any other country worldwide. Last year, Israel announced they would issue ‘innovation visas’ that allow individuals to work in Tel Aviv for two years to create innovative projects. They will also be granted an extended Expert Visa for up to five years if they open a startup company. Undeniably, when it comes to innovation, there is a lot Australia can learn from the Israel in order to become a magnet for talent.

Hence, by attracting high-calibre and innovative entrepreneurs, Australia’s innovation standards can only improve while local jobs and investment will increase. Starting this week, the consultation process for the new entrepreneur visa in Australia has opened with the government seeking feedback to ensure the new visa stream matches expectations. This consultation process will go on until Friday 18 March 2016 and the date for the new visa being launched has been set at November 2016. Moreover, there will be no cap on the number of visas being granted.

Overall, government incentives such as visas and tax breaks (like the Research and Development (R&D) Tax Incentive) can help in fuelling modernisation in a nation by supporting an innovative framework.

Swanson Reed is a specialist R&D Tax Consultant firm – contact us today if you have been involved in innovative activities by the means of R&D in your business.