Labor Senator Kim Carr, one of the life science industry's most outspoken backers in the federal parliament, has announced he will not renominate for the shadow ministry.
Senator Carr, who was re-elected for another six-year term at the 2016 election, served as the industry and innovation minister between 2007 and 2011.
He served in a range of other portfolios between 2011 and 2013, including manufacturing, human services and higher education. He returned to the industry and innovation portfolio for a short period before Labor's defeat at the 2013 election and served as shadow minister between 2016 and last week's election.
Senator Carr's signature achievement during his tenure as minister was the creation of the R&D Tax Incentive.
The program, which is hugely valued by the life sciences sector, has been the subject of reviews and reform since the Coalition's election in 2013. The sector is currently dealing with uncertainty surrounding the fate of a range of new reforms to the program, including a reduction in the cash benefit.
Senator Carr had committed the Bill-Shorten led Labor opposition to introduce a 'collaboration premium' to the R&D Tax Incentive, re-establishing the Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group (PIWG), and a comprehensive review of science and research policy.
PIWG, a ministerial-level forum for discussion on the impact of PBS and industry policy, was abolished by the Coalition in 2014.
In a statement on Friday, Senator Carr said, "In the past six years, the focus of all my work was the goal of serving as a Cabinet Minister in a Labor Government. My policy interests remain. I shall continue to advocate for the modernisation of Australian industry, and for restoring science and research policy to the centre of government.
"I have been a Senator for Victoria for 26 years. In that time it has been an honour to serve as Manager of Opposition Business in the Senate, as a member of the Shadow Ministry, the Shadow Cabinet, and even more so in the Ministry and Cabinet of a national Labor Government."
He continued, "I have served with commitment and pride in the areas of economic policy, higher education, indigenous affairs, human services and defence.
"But for much of my time in Parliament I have been the Labor Party’s spokesperson on innovation industry, science and research. Innovation policy is critically important to the Labour movement. It is the thread that draws industry, science and research policy together.
"Labor will always seek to work with industry, unions and researchers to develop a 21st century industrial structure that will ensure prosperity for all Australians."