Prime Minister’s Innovation Statement Released
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull unveiled his much anticipated Innovation Statement in Canberra yesterday.
The purpose of the $1.1 billion package is to encourage and reward investment in new ideas and solutions, while fostering greater collaboration between the business community, universities and scientific institutions.
Particular highlights include:
- New concessional tax treatments for investors who support innovative startups, including:
o A 20 per cent non-refundable tax offset based on the amount of their investment capped at $200,000 per investor, per year.
o A 10 year capital gains tax exemption for investments held for three years.
- Biomedical Translation Fund will invest $250 million in promising biomedical innovation and commercialisation.
- Business Research and Innovation Initiativegovernment issued challenges for solutions to policy and service delivery problems. The most successful ideas may be eligible for a further grant of up to $1 million to develop a prototype or proof of concept over the following 18 months.
- CSIRO Innovation Fund including an early stage innovation fund of about $200 million to support co-investment in new spin-out/startup companies based on research based products and services created by Australian research institutions.
- Increasing access to company losses by replacing the ‘same business test’ with ‘predominantly similar business test’, so that companies will be able to enter into new business activities and transactions without facing a tax penalty.
- Intangible asset depreciation will provide a new option to self-assess the tax effective life of acquired intangible assets. This will better align the tax effective life with the true life of the assets, meaning the same tax treatment will be available for acquired intangible assets as is available for other types of assets. Faster depreciation will decrease the costs of investment in these assets, allowing companies to better exploit and commercialise them.
- The Research Support Scheme will provide around $885 million in 2017 to Australian universities as a flexible funding stream to support the systemic costs of research.
- The Supporting Research Training Schemewill provide around $948 million in 2017 to support domestic and international higher degree by research (HDR) students.
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