Turnbull government to invest $1 billion to set up novel innovation culture

By @pathakmishra on
Malcolm Turnbull
Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop listens to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull during a media conference at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, September 20, 2015. Reuters/David Gray

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Innovation Minister Christopher Pyne are set to announce an innovation plan on Monday at the Canberra headquarters of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation concerning national economy and improvement of education and research in Australia.

The $1 billion innovation and science plan will comprise of 20 measures to be applied across 11 different ministerial portfolios, including tax breaks for new businesses, visa changes for entrepreneurs and start-up organisations, and coding classes for students.

The Turnbull government will introduce a $100 million package for CSIRO separately because it suffered a funding cut of $110 million in the 2014 federal budget. The innovation package announcement was planned following the innovation policies put forth by the Opposition Labor Party on Friday that focused on regions and universities and also promised tax breaks to foster investments in start-ups.

For a better education system, the innovation plan will include focus on STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and math. This university research funding will enhance interaction between institutions and businesses, giving students a chance to get industry-oriented training.

The innovation culture will make national insolvency laws more compatible by initiating greater incentive for investors taking risks. Industry players, however, are expecting inclusion of tax breaks for research and development as well.

The innovation package will reverse some of the cuts faced by CSIRO in the past few years by delivering a huge amount of money to Data61, which was formed with the merger of CSIRO digital productivity division and National ICT Australia in August. The government will focus on capital gains tax exemptions for investors spending in start-up projects and it aims to create a new culture to enhance investor support of entrepreneurs and start-up ventures.

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield told Sky News that the government’s plan was a “sector-agnostic” one, encouraging a novel investment and education culture. “Ultimately what it’s about is making it easier for people to raise capital, making it easier for people to collaborate, putting more focus on STEM education and also looking at the way government can lead by example,” he said.

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