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A formal response to our rabble rousing from Senator Carr’s office

Following our recent series of articles on innovation in Australia (our Australia Day series), we received the following note from the Office of Senator Kim Carr, Australia’s Innovation Minister. We were expecting a dressing down. Here's what we got instead.

Diary of an entrepreneur raising capital: Money for nothing

I can never figure out if that Dire Straits song goes “money for nothing and your chicks for free” or “money for nothing and your cheques for free”. Let’s stick with cheques for this post, because everyone knows you don’t get chicks for free unless you play the guitar on the MTV. Plus, getting cheques for free is in context with what I want to talk about.

Would you like to be CEO of Commercialisation Australia?

Our 'secret-squirrels' have revealed to Anthill that the seven board positions, appointed to analyse and approve Commercialisation Australia funding applications, have been filled and that an announcement is imminent. No-one knows who will be among this 'magnicifent seven' other than those appointed or involved in the decision. In fact, it is a complete mystery to external observers how these important functionaries were selected. Was there some sort of process behind closed doors? Were they vetted? Were the decisions political? Or vaguely political, chosen in the same fashion as a US High Court Judge, to perform the role yet still be 'on-side' with the powers that be?

The proposed Australian R&D tax reforms… Do they walk the talk?

Inconsistency is what most influences an organisation's decision to invest in R&D and the extent of its R&D investment. This is because a company cannot budget and minimise risk if it does now know the extent to which it is likely to be eligible for a tax concession. The proposed reforms to the R&D tax concession not only conflict with their stated purpose but offer no consistency to organisations already engaged in the complex task of commercialising innovation... whether novel or risky.

The proposed Australian R&D tax reforms… Do they walk the talk?

Inconsistency is what most influences an organisation's decision to invest in R&D and the extent of its R&D investment. This is because a company cannot budget and minimise risk if it does now know the extent to which it is likely to be eligible for a tax concession. The proposed reforms to the R&D tax concession not only conflict with their stated purpose but offer no consistency to organisations already engaged in the complex task of commercialising innovation... whether novel or risky.

Can Australia really claim to be a nation of innovators?

Is innovation a driver of economic development down-under? The simple answer is, yes. But is it a core driver – part of our national psyche, supported by government policy? I personally don’t think that it is. I’m not so sure that ‘necessity’ is a part of life for most Australians. I don’t think that the ‘tyranny of distance’ still forces us to work smarter, not harder. In fact, the only cultural description I believe worth citing as part of this innovation debate is Australia’s reputation as a ‘lucky country’.

Australian Innovation Policy… Where the bloody hell are you?

While most Australians will have enjoyed the wonderful economic prosperity that digging things out of the ground can bring (while there’s still a market in China) and enjoyed the fat of our land, grilled and shish-kebabed (when not exported to the Middle East), a minority - a rarely celebrated part of our ‘cultural mix’ - used the rare solace of a national public holiday to work on that thing often described as ‘innovation’.

Public feedback sought for proposed Federal R&D Tax Concession changes

As part of the Federal Government’s dramatic overhaul of its commercialisation program, now called Commercialisation Australia, the R&D Tax Concession will replace the R&D Tax Credit from 1 July, 2010.

Public feedback sought for proposed Federal R&D Tax Concession changes

As part of the Federal Government’s dramatic overhaul of its commercialisation program, now called Commercialisation Australia, the R&D Tax Concession will replace the R&D Tax Credit from 1 July, 2010.

A splash of cash welcomes in the New Year as Commercialisation Australia officially launches

In a pre-Christmas treat, the Rudd Government uncorked $196 million of funding, to be delivered through Commercialisation Australia (CA).While most of us were busy opening presents and welcoming in the New Year, this one gift remained for many to discover after returning to work! So how does it work?

Nine promising projects secure over $630k in federal COMET funding

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, has announced the latest round of COMET funding, with 14 projects sharing $630,600.

Federal Government COMET grants to end on 1 Jan, 2010

The launch of Commercialisation Australia will coincide with the closure on 1 January 2010 of the Commercialising Emerging Technologies (COMET) program to new applications. Prior applications and ongoing COMET grants will continue to be serviced.

Who really benefits from the Rudd Government’s new Commercialisation Australia program?

The news yesterday that the Federal Government has unveiled details of its $196 million Commercialisation Australia (CA) initiative has been welcomed by many entrepreneurs and innovation consultants. These same intended beneficiaries might also be forgiven for wondering whether it is an improvement on the $1 billion Commercial Ready Scheme it is designed to replace.

Who really benefits from the Rudd Government's new Commercialisation Australia program?

The news yesterday that the Federal Government has unveiled details of its $196 million Commercialisation Australia (CA) initiative has been welcomed by many entrepreneurs and innovation consultants. These same intended beneficiaries might also be forgiven for wondering whether it is an improvement on the $1 billion Commercial Ready Scheme it is designed to replace.

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