Cooperative Research Australia: Investment in Industry-led research and innovation is critical to post-COVID success
Cooperative Research Australia (CRA) has published its 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission, urging the Federal Government to continue to grow investment in industry-led research and innovation to support Australia’s post-COVID economic development and prosperity.
“For Australia to recover from COVID-19 and prosper, stimulating and facilitating collaboration between research and business across the innovation ecosystem must be a priority,” said Cooperative Research Australia CEO, Jane O’Dwyer.
CRA welcomes recent announcements to support the innovation system through Australia’s Economic Accelerator (AEA) program, industry PhDs and fellowships, and funding to support university research commercialisation.
In its pre-budget submission CRA proposes further investment into fundamental research and the Cooperative Research Centres Program. CRA also proposes drawing upon the 30-year success of the program to foster further growth and opportunity in areas of significant national need to ensure Australia’s global competitiveness and pipeline for future applied research, translation for new products, services, and processes.
“Our capacity to translate research into commercial outcomes and flow to greater economic, social, and environmental benefit to the nation is a great opportunity for Australia that should not be overlooked,” continued Jane O’Dwyer.
“The CRC Program is an Australian success story and forms one of the key pillars in the Australian innovation system. CRCs and other industry-research collaborative entities are responsible for a sizeable proportion of current and past industry PhDs and industry-focused post-doctoral fellowships.”
The model is a proven example that can be used across other Australian Government portfolios to achieve their policy objectives and would support the success of extended Industry PhD schemes.
CRA also proposes incentivising collaboration through an introduction of up to a 20% collaboration premium as part of the R&D Tax Incentive scheme, to generate new collaboration between industry and research institutes and foster a culture of innovation. The premium can contribute to the cost of employing new STEM PhD or equivalent graduates in their first three years of employment.
Cooperative Research Australia’s Pre-Budget Submission proposes:
- Invest in collaborative, industry-led, research and innovation to grow our economy and enhance sovereign capability through the creation of new industries and jobs by growing the investment in industry-led CRCs and CRC-Ps by $50 million a year over the forward estimates.
- Incentivise industry-research collaboration across Government through the implementation of recommendation 18 of the Miles’ Review that the CRC Program model should be used and funded by other Australian Government portfolios to achieve their policy objectives. We propose the establishment of up to three new centres to address the needs of portfolios not captured under current collaborative research programs or schemes but in areas of significant national need in a post-COVID environment.
- Evidence the return on investment from industry PhDs and embed the lessons learned in new workforce schemes through an investment of $1.0m in 2022/23 into a detailed Cooperative Research Centres Alumni Destination and Outcomes study that will provide baseline evidence to support the success of Industry PhD schemes by drawing upon the experience of 4,000 industry-focused PhD graduates.
- Incentivise innovation through industry-led research collaboration by establishing an up to 20% R&D tax collaboration premium consistent with recommendation 2 of the 2016 Review of the R&D Tax Incentive.
- Commit to growing funding for fundamental research to guarantee Australia’s global competitiveness and ensure a pipeline for future applied research, translation and new products, services, and processes.
Read Cooperative Research Australia’s pre-budget submission here.
Cooperative Research Australia strengthens and promotes the transformative potential of collaborative, industry-led research through knowledge exchange, professional development, and advocacy. Our members form the lynchpin in the Australian innovation system and are focused on creating new products, services, industries, and value in our economy.