As part of its latest budget, the Australian government has announced a four-year, AUD 5.7 billion ($4.41 billion) investment in R&D. The Education Investment Fund (EIF) will receive AUD 3 billion for university research and infrastructure. In the EIF’s first two rounds, 31 projects costing AUD 934 have been accepted. Round two of funding includes AUD 321.7 million for research infrastructure. Spending for round three is expected to be AUD 500 million. An AUD 650 million Sustainability round will be used for public and private clean energy research infrastructure. The government will invest an additional AUD 700 million in university research, including AUD 512 million for a Sustainable Research Excellence in Universities Program, created to fund the indirect costs of research. To support small firms with an additional AUD 1.4 billion annually, the country’s R&D tax concession will be replaced with a tax credit which will give businesses with revenues of less than $20 million a refund of 45% of their annual R&D expenditures. In addition, AUD 65 million will be used to increase the country’s R&D tax offset limit from AUD 1 million to AUD 2 million. The new AUD 1.1 billion Super Science Initiative will include AUD 504 million for “Future Industries,” such as biotechnology and nanotechnology research. To expedite the translation of basic research into commercial products, the new AUD 196.1 million Commonwealth Commercialization Institute will work with public and private institutions.

Source: Australian Ministers for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research

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