The announcement follows a review of the R&D tax incentive in 2016, which proposed a premium concession rate of up to 20 per cent.
Universities Australia Chief Executive Catriona Jackson said Labor’s commitment to a 10 per cent rate was a positive development, noting the university sector has made the case for a premium rate in recent years.
“Since 2015, Universities Australia has advocated for a premium tax concession for businesses collaborating with our nation’s universities on research and development,” she said.
“A premium tax concession would boost the number of businesses that tap into the wealth of expertise inside universities and enhance innovation in Australia.”
As a percentage of GDP, business R&D in Australia (as well as gross expenditure in R&D) has been in decline for a decade, after peaking in 2008-09.
Australia’s expenditure on R&D (1.88 per cent of GDP) now lags most of the OECD, as well as the OECD average of 2.38 per cent.
Universities are major contributors to Australia’s research effort, with 90 per cent of Australian university research rated as world class or above in a recent Australian Research Council report.
Further assessment by the ARC also found 88 per cent of university research has a medium to high positive impact for the wider community.
Universities Australia runs an award-winning campaign #UniResearchChangesLives that highlights how the work of university researchers profoundly improves the lives of everyday Australians.