AusBiotech Ltd. Release: Concern Spreads Through Biotech Sector as Feds Freeze Programs

Published: Sep 19, 2012

19 September 2012 -- AusBiotech has called on the Federal Government to provide some certainty to the innovation sector as support programs are frozen, including Commercialisation Australia, the Clean Technology Investment Fund and payments under the R&D Tax Incentive. Concern is mounting as the Federal Government is unable to advise when programs will resume.

Following AusBiotech’s contact, the Federal Government has advised that it is collecting additional information on how grants programs are being rolled out as a “normal part of the Budget process” and there will be a brief pause in the granting of funds.

The Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education (DIISRTE) said the Government is “going through a process of examining every dollar of spending to make sure taxpayers are getting value for money,” which it says is “exactly what fiscally responsible governments do.”

DIISRTE says that at this stage all the background work, such as preparation of guidelines and assessment of applications is continuing in the normal way.

AusBiotech’s CEO, Dr Anna Lavelle, said: “This is a very concerning development on so many levels. This interruption to support for a burgeoning industry has the potential to wind back our hard-won momentum in biotechnology.”

“Members are extremely and justifiably anxious about what this means about if and when the programs will resume normal functioning– especially with the disastrous and swift axing of the Commercial Ready program fresh in their memories.

“On behalf of the industry I call on the Government to give a clear timeline for resumption and an assurance that these programs are not at risk - after years of policy planning, inquiries, reviews and funds have been invested in their implementation,” said Dr Lavelle.

About AusBiotech

AusBiotech is Australia's biotechnology industry organisation working on behalf of over 3,000 members in the areas of human health, medical devices, food technology, agriculture, environmental and industrial biotechnology, for more than 25 years. AusBiotech is dedicated to the development, growth and prosperity of the Australian biotechnology industry.

Media enquiries:

Lorraine Chiroiu, AusBiotech’s Communications Manager P: +61 (0) 3 9828 1414 M: +61 (0) 429 801 118

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