Govt to scale back share of funding in primary growth partnership R&D

The government will reduce its investment share in new PGP projects to 40% from December 1.

The government wants the agricultural sector to inject more money into research and development, and will pare back its share of funding through the primary growth partnership for new projects from December.

The government will reduce its investment share in new PGP projects to 40% from December 1, while retaining its existing level of funding, Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy said in a statement. The changes will apply to new projects or applications for extensions from December 1 but won't affect the minimum total investment required for industry of $500,000 over the lifetime of a programme.

"A 40% share is still a major investment and kickstart to primary sector research and innovation," Mr Guy said. "This will ensure that the PGP continues to provide a major boost, while also reflecting the ratio of commercial and public benefits."

The move was foreshadowed by this month's release of the National Statement of Science Investment, which seeks to double private sector R&D over the next decade. The paper indicated the government's intention to create incentives for the primary sector to fund more of its own R&D, scaling back the Crown's share while increasing investment over time.

The R&D programme was launched in 2010 and has seen government and industry co-invest $724 million across 20 programmes.

Mr Guy said the government will also seek to encourage smaller sectors to apply to the programme by introducing simple reporting requirements, helping applicants develop their business cases, and looking at other ways to extend access to the funding mechanism.

(BusinessDesk)