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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.

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’.

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.

Australia's latest supercomputer project launched at ANU

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, today officially launched a new research supercomputer facility, located at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

Australia’s latest supercomputer project launched at ANU

Senator Kim Carr, Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, today officially launched a new research supercomputer facility, located at the Australian National University (ANU) in Canberra.

14 promising projects secure nearly $1m 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 $985,600.

$394m awarded for innovative Australian research

The Rudd Government yesterday awarded total funding of over $394 million for 1,145 Australian research projects.

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.

Business expenditure on R&D has jumped by 15 per cent

Business expenditure on research and development (BERD) has jumped by 15 per cent, reaching $14,380 million in 2007-08, according to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

Business expenditure on R&D has jumped by 15 per cent

Business expenditure on research and development (BERD) has jumped by 15 per cent, reaching $14,380 million in 2007-08, according to statistics released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Friday.

Australian nuclear research receives boost as ANU and ANSTO join forces

The Australian National University (ANU) and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) have officially entered into a partnership to combine core expertise and enhance Australia’s international engagement in nuclear science and technology.

Federal R&D Tax Credit Bill passes, more changes to come

The passage last Thursday of the Tax Laws Amendment Bill (2009 Measures no 4) represents the Rudd Government's first significant milestone on the road to delivering a more streamlined R&D Tax Credit for innovative Australian businesses.

Federal R&D Tax Credit Bill passes, more changes to come

The passage last Thursday of the Tax Laws Amendment Bill (2009 Measures no 4) represents the Rudd Government's first significant milestone on the road to delivering a more streamlined R&D Tax Credit for innovative Australian businesses.

$243M boost to Australia’s innovation agenda

The Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator the Hon Kim Carr, late last week announced funding of $243 million for "world-class collaborative research and innovation" under the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres (CRC) Program.

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