The Cutler Report and its implications for R&D in Australia

Welcome to another edition of eChook.

The long-awaited National Innovation Review (The Cutler Report) was released on 13 September by Minister Kim Carr.

The Cutler Report, entitled Venturous Australia, examines the Australian innovation system and recommends some major, but not necessarily fundamental, changes to the way Australia does R&D. From the perspectives of CRCs, the Cutler Report recommends the Government act on the recommendations in the Review of the CRC Program by Professor Mary O’Kane. In addition, the recommendations of significance to the future of CRCs include:

  1. Changing the current R&D Tax concession scheme to R&D Tax credits (40% to large firms and 50% to small companies) – this will enhance industry investment in R&D;
  2. Supporting innovation in private firms, rather than in research institutes – a key feature of our current CRC approach, and
  3. Meeting full costs of research in universities – implications of this for CRC projects carried out in universities are not known.

The Cutler Report is now open for comments and the Government will respond to it by the end of 2008. This means the Guidelines for the next round of CRCs may not be released until early 2009, which further complicate our re-bid process.

All in all, in addition to having good industry support and putting together a terrific scientific program, we will also need to highlight the “public good” side of our activities and strengthen our international collaboration.

We will continue to prepare for our re-bid, contacting partners who have expressed interest in joining the Poultry CRC II from October onwards to develop our programs.



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