R&D Tax Incentive most important for increasing BERD


The stability of the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI) has been identified as the most important tool for increasing business expenditure on R&D (BERD). AusBiotech is developing a policy position with practical, thought-out initiatives outlining opportunities for increasing BERD within the life sciences sector, and invites members to contribute their ideas and help inform AusBiotech’s response.

The RDTI programme has been under threat for a sustained period of time, and the impacts from this prolonged uncertainty is being felt across the sector. Committing to support businesses investing in R&D: the key to boosting BERD, is the most important opportunity available. While industry metrics are still sound and growth expected, the 2019 AusBiotech Industry Position Survey revealed a worrying fall in business sentiment across the sector with uncertainty over the fate of the RDTI.

Six other key industry and research groups joined AusBiotech in their pre-election call for all political parties to adopt a common approach to R&D, and to take action to support health and medical research by supporting the conditions that allow industry to do its part. The signatories represent the medical technologies, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals industry sector and the health and medical research sector.

Australia’s annual BERD has declined by more than $2 billion (12%) per annum between 2014 and 2016 (the latest period for which data is available). It is now at levels not seen since the global financial crisis.

BERD is critical to health and medical research, and all Australians – from bench, to business, to bedside – will benefit when this declining trajectory is reversed. Supporting BERD supports the country’s overall GDP.

AusBiotech has engaged with member CEOs to gather ideas for developing its BERD policy position. Facilitating an environment that encourages businesses to invest in additional R&D and supports the retention and growth of Australian innovation will ultimately help industry to discover new life-enhancing technologies and improve existing ones.

AusBiotech invites members to contact Andrew Mosley, Director Policy and Programmes, with practical ideas and considerations on how to increase BERD by Friday 23 August.