Tuesday 11 May 2021
A BUDGET WITH AN EYE ON THE FUTURE
New Budget investments in Australia’s next-generation technology workforce, science infrastructure, vaccine capabilities, and tax incentives to lure firms to commercialise and manufacture patented technologies onshore have an eye firmly on the future.
“This future-focused Budget charts a path to develop the workforce Australia will need to seize opportunities in next-generation technologies,” said Science & Technology Australia President Associate Professor Jeremy Brownlie.
“It also makes important investments in essential science infrastructure through the Australian Space Agency, ANSTO, and the Square Kilometre Array giant telescope.”
“A $206.4 million ‘patent box’ tax break will incentivise medical and biotech companies to not only register their patents in Australia - but manufacture products from those patents onshore.”
“We welcome the commitment to consult on extending those tax breaks to clean energy.”
“The Budget also expands opportunities to deploy Australian science and technology as powerful assets of global diplomacy.”
Science & Technology Australia Chief Executive Officer Misha Schubert said new women in STEM scholarships would pave the way for more women and girls to study science and technology.
“As longtime champions of women in STEM, STA welcomes this boost through industry placement scholarships to get more women and girls into STEM,” she said.
“The $1.7 billion over five years to expand childcare subsidies will be welcome help for working parents everywhere, including in STEM.”
“We also welcome the commitment to develop an onshore manufacturing capability for mRNA vaccines here in Australia, which will need future funding.”
Key science and technology measures in the 2021 Budget include:
- $206.4 million in tax incentives with a ‘patent box’ to strengthen sovereign manufacturing of Australian-patented technologies.
- $42.4 million over 7 years to support 230 women in STEM with higher education STEM scholarships including industry placements.
- $300 million for the Square Kilometre Array giant telescope in regional WA.
- $116.7 million to upgrade waste storage and maintenance of equipment at ANSTO.
- $13.3 million over four years for the Australian Space Agency to boost regulatory and technical capabilities.
- A commitment to develop onshore mRNA vaccine manufacturing capability.
- $10.4 million over four years to extend the national partnership agreement on clinical trials and introduce mitochondrial donations into medical research.
- $26.8 million over four years for a national soils science challenge.
- Streamlining visas to target highly skilled individuals.
- $643.4 million over four years to develop clean energy technologies.
- $43.8 million over three years to expand the cyber security skills innovation fund.
- $22.6 million over six years for 234 scholarships in next generation emerging technologies (such as AI).
- $1.2 billion for digital economy transformation in measures announced last week.
- $52.4 million over four years for global science and technology collaborations and diplomacy.