Industry holds collective ‘breath’ on Budget announcement


A decision regarding the R&D Tax Incentive looms tonight, as the Australian biotech industry awaits the Government’s response to the ‘Ferris, Finkel, Fraser’ Review of the R&D Tax Incentive, which is expected to be included in the 2017-18 Federal Budget.

Speaking to The Australian (Sarah-Jane Tasker, ‘Biotechs ready to fight the loss of R&D tax breaks’) yesterday, AusBiotech CEO, Glenn Cross, said the sector was: “on alert on expectations Scott Morrison’s second federal budget would include changes to the research and development tax incentive.”

Following the Budget lock-up this evening, BiotechDispatch will provide an update as AusBiotech Deputy CEO Lorraine Chiroiu reports to members on the outcome of the R&D Tax Incentive.

AusBiotech has vehemently opposed the proposed changes since the Review’s release, which was delivered to Government more than a year ago, stating that modifications to the popular program will damage Australia’s hard-won momentum in the life sciences.

AusBiotech last week asserted that the positive results in its annual Biotechnology Industry Position Survey were overshadowed by fear that proposed changes to the R&D Tax Incentive will come to pass.

AusBiotech recently joined forces with Medicines Australia, Research Australia, the Medical Technology Association of Australia and BioMelbourne Network, urging government to keep the R&D Tax Incentive intact and avoid ripping “the guts out of Australian medical research commercialisation”.

The R&D Tax Incentive is the most critical program in supporting government’s own stated policy objective, to improve Australia’s performance when it comes to the translation of R&D. In an increasingly globalised world, where capital can move freely to the most encouraging and supportive jurisdictions, sending the wrong signal on this centrepiece policy carries huge risk.

Following the R&D Tax Incentive update tonight, a full briefing on the Budget will be distributed via email to members tomorrow.