Survey finds Innovation plan restrictive

Initiatives contained in the Federal Government's Innovation statement are "too restrictive" and "difficult to access", a survey by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu has found.

The Deloitte Technology Fast 50 survey of CEOs and managing directors in technology, biotechnology and telecommunications sectors found that the incentives are too focused on research than on development activity (73 per cent).

Prime Minister John Howard presented the $2.9 billion five-year Backing Australia's Ability plan in January to boost Australia's research, development and innovation.

Ian Thatcher, lead partner, technology and telecommunications group for Deloitte said the two key issues that emerged from the survey were "perceived difficulty accessing tax incentives" and "more assistance with global commercialisation".

"While the industry appears to be looking to internationalise, 83 per cent [of respondents] indicated there were not enough incentives to keep existing development within Australia. Further, 88 per cent do not believe there are sufficient incentives to attract overseas research and development to our shores," Thatcher said.

"Australia's technology industry is in a position to make its mark globally. With some refinements to the tax regime including targeting commercialisation and also rewarding innovation, Australia's technology industry can become more internationally competitive."

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