ATN calls on government to commit funds for research infrastructure

10 May 2017

The Australian Technology Network of Universities (ATN) calls on the Government to unveil its plans for research infrastructure as soon as possible, to deliver much needed certainty to our universities and publicly funded research organisations.

ATN Executive Director, Renee Hindmarsh says, “We note that nothing has been announced in place of the $3.7b Education Investment Fund which was the last remaining capital fund for the sector, and we call on the government to deliver much-needed certainty in terms of future investment in research infrastructure.

“The lack of a financial commitment to research infrastructure in the Budget leads to greater uncertainty in a sector already faced with significant disruption.”

The ATN also calls on the government to implement the recommendations of the 2016 Review of R&D Tax Incentive; particularly the recommendation to introduce a collaboration premium of up to 20% for the non-refundable tax offset to provide additional support for the collaborative element of R&D expenditures undertaken with publicly funded research organisations, including a premium for the cost of employing new STEM PhD graduates in their first three years of employment.

“The ATN has been advocating for changes to the R&D tax incentive since the release of the 2015 PwC report ‘Innovate and Prosper’, noting that it would drive Australian innovation by generating a much needed boost in the levels of collaboration between industry and Australia’s publicly funded research organisations,” Ms Hindmarsh says.

“The ATN calls on the government to make a significant commitment to research infrastructure as a matter of urgency, reaffirming the government’s commitment to a National Innovation and Science Agenda.”