This is a comprehensive 84 page action plan addressing a wide range of issues, from assistance with commercialisation, business skills, share options for smaller companies, less regulation, technical skills for workers, a review of the workplace relations system and commercialising research.
A copy can be obtained on-line at https://www.dpmc.gov.au/pmc/publication/industry-innovation-and-competitiveness-agenda-report-action-plan-stronger-australia.
Key initiatives include;
- Industry Growth Centres, a $188.5M initiative over five years to improve networking within the industry, identify skills and regulatory issues, assist with commercialisation and assist with supply chain linkages. The Growth Centre for Food and Agribusiness is being finalised and involves Food Innovation Ltd (http://www.fial.com.au/ ) set up under the previous government. FIAL has initiated an Export Market insights database, a Capabilities Directory, Online Tutorials on the eCatalogue and a new Industry News feed on innovation and exports. It is well worth while getting FIAL e-bulletins.
- The Entrepreneurs Infrastructure program, to link smaller companies with business advisors, linking them with sources of science and technology expertise and assisting with the commercialisation of new ideas.
- A range of industry skills programs, including funding for apprenticeships and an $476M Industry Skills Fund for manufacturers to train key staff. Note, this funding is for manufacturers, not training agencies. Individual manufacturers or consortia can apply. Consortia can be headed by an industry association or other not-for-profit groups.
- The R&D tax Incentives remain, although some changes have been proposed but not yet approved by the Senate.
- Legislation to allow share options for smaller companies where tax is payable when options are exercised, not when they are allocated, has been drafted and is awaiting industry feedback.