Delivered in Canberra this week, the Australian Government's 2013/14 budget contains a number of new and enhanced initiatives in the innovation portfolio, including: 

  • An investment of $84.6 million over the next four years for an additional 1,650 Commonwealth supported places per year in targeted sub-bachelor and postgraduate courses.
  • Commitment of $185.9 million over two years under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy from 2013-14 to 2014-15 to secure Australian researchers’ access to current major research facilities and the support infrastructure and networks necessary to undertake world-class research.
  • Extension of the Future Fellowships scheme, providing $135.3 million over five years to attract and retain the best and brightest mid-career researchers in Australia.
  • More than $68 million invested over four years from  2013-14 for the Alternative Pathways pilot to target priority skills areas through new training pathways into high-demand trade and technical occupations that are led by industry.
  • The establishment of a $45 million Skills Connect Fund to provide industry with a single point of access for skills and workforce development support making it easier for enterprises to access Australian Government support to train their workers.
  • Bringing forward $160 million in Clean Technology Investment Program (CTIP) funding to 2014-15 to increase manufacturing investment and boost productivity and competitiveness - The key message for AusIndustry customers and stakeholders is that CTIP program demand is strong and growing.  There is no change to the funding commitment.  The Government has maintained its $1 billion commitment to the investment programs.
  • The Government is limiting access to the R&D tax incentive so that it only applies to companies with annual aggregate Australian turnover of less than $20 billion from 1 July 2013.
  • The Government will spend more than $500 million to establish up to 10 Industry Innovation Precincts to bring together industry, companies, universities, research institutions and experts in technology and business. Led by industry, these Precincts will share skills, knowledge and talent and build firms that can compete in world markets. The Government has agreed that the first two precincts will be the manufacturing precinct and the food precinct.

Information provided by the Victorian Ausindustry office of the Department of Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.