Australian businesses are set to benefit from funding worth $3.7 billion over the next four years, with the Gillard Government committed to working with businesses to boost productivity and competitiveness.
“The Government is determined to work in partnership with Australian companies to help build sustainable businesses and strengthen the national economy,” Industry and Innovation Minister Greg Combet said in a statement.
Automotive assistance and Clean Technology Program will receive $2.78 billion in funding, representing a third of the total budget. Other industries include: Commercialisation Australia ($294.1 million); Enterprise Connect ($95.7 million); Innovation Investment Fund ($65.5 million).
The assistance programs for the above mentioned industries are being administered by the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education; also announced was that previous funding for other industry programs will be maintained.
The R&D Tax Incentive, which replaced the R&D Tax Concession on July 11, 2011, is also seen to offer substantial support for businesses with research and development activities to innovate more products and services, the statement added.
The Gillard Government will cut the funding for the final phase of the Textile Clothing and Footwear-Strategic Capability Program (TCF) by $1.77 million. However, officials assured that it won’t affect the special grant for TCF employees who were retrenched under the restructuring program in order for them to access employment through the Jobs Services Australia.
Also, funding for the National Enabling Technology Strategy will be reduced by $275,000 in 2012-2013.
Officials also announced that a portion of the budget for the Clean Technology Innovation Program in 2012-2013 worth $6.9 million will be reallocated for 2013-2014. This is part of the assistance to encourage businesses to pursue clean technologies.