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Call for govt incentives for biotechnology sector

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The government should introduce an incentive to keep intellectual property in Australia once it reaches commercialisation, according to a biotech group.

AusBiotech and others are calling for an ‘Australian Innovation and Manufacturing Incentive’. This would be a ‘patent box’-style incentive intended to keep home-grown IP and associated manufacturing in Australia.

Supporters recommend that the government consider adopting the structure of the UK Patent Box model and adapt the policy to suit the Australian environment.

Michael Cunningham, National Head of Life Sciences at Grant Thornton Australia, said, “It’s imperative that Australia takes action to remain competitive and relevant on the world stage, especially, when other economies including the UK or Singapore are already reaping the benefits of their tax regimes.

“Maximising Australian innovation and reinvigorating the manufacturing sector in Australia, largely depends on the existing R&D Tax Incentive being complemented with a tax regime that can secure Australia’s competitiveness for the future.”

The call came as AusBiotech released its annual Biotechnology Industry Position Survey (2014).

According to the survey, advanced manufacturing associated with the biotech industry is increasingly following traditional manufacturing and heading overseas.

Other findings of the survey include that the industry’s outlook for the coming year is bullish with 81% of respondents expecting their business to grow and 70% of companies intending to hire more people.

In addition, the survey found that that the R&D Tax Incentive was very well received and its preservation remains the number one public policy issue within the biotech industry.

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