Budget 2018: All talk on innovation, but funding falls short

Tom Skotnicki - SmartCompany - 8 May 2018

The federal government is anxious to continue to project its commitment to innovation, but the spending contained in this year’s budget is nothing if not modest.

It is particularly dismal in light of the decision to cut back on the R&D tax concession, which is the single biggest innovation incentive.

One of the initiatives for innovation trumpeted in the budget is effectively unfunded. As part of the government’s grandiose-sounding “Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan”, the government will spend a measly $1 million to “support a review of existing domestic and international measures of innovation”.

In other words, an audit of data measures. The cost of the review, designed to ensure “that innovation is accurately measured in Australia”, will be met from the internal resources of the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

Another measure contained in the Australian Technology and Science Growth Plan is $160 million to improve satellite (GPS) navigation in the bush.

It has effectively been shoehorned into innovation and was previously referred to as the National Positioning Infrastructure Program announced two years ago. This is not to suggest this spending will not foster some innovation, but it is hardly an innovation measure. Read More

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