What role does government funding play in the development of emerging technologies
For companies focused on innovation in emerging technologies, securing research and development (R&D) funding is mission-critical. Fortunately, the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI) program and various federal and state government grant programs are available and provide generous financial support to fuel high-risk, high-reward R&D in breakthrough emerging tech fields.
Having operated in the government innovation funding space for nearly two decades, we have witnessed how government grants and tax offsets such as the R&D tax incentive play a pivotal role in enabling businesses to progress from ideation to commercialisation and onward to scaling.
One of NOAH Connect’s Directors, Tina, fondly recalls a time when she was amazed to learn how a printing system and enabling software can be capable of variable data printing and run personalised marketing campaigns at scale. The most exciting moment being when she received the first personalised marketing letter with her name on it. In the many years that have followed, Tina has witnessed technology transform industries in ways that were inconceivable when she began her career in consulting.
How the R&D Tax Incentive program supports emerging technologies
The R&D Tax Incentive provides support by:
- Offering tax offsets up to 43.5% for qualifying R&D expenditures. Making investment in unproven emerging tech more feasible.
- Providing refundable offsets so pre-revenue startups can benefit and reinvest back into R&D, not just profitable companies.
- Lowering the risks and costs of experimental development essential for emerging tech breakthroughs.
- Providing ongoing multi-year support as technologies continue maturing over time even post-commercialisation.
NOAH Connect has helped companies access the R&D Tax Incentive to help develop emerging technologies like:
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning
- Robotics and automation
- Quantum computing
- Biotechnology and genomics
- Photonics and advanced optics
- Blockchain and distributed ledgers
- Internet of Things and embedded systems
- Augmented and virtual reality
- Smart materials and nanotechnology
- Renewable energy and clean technology
Virtually any tech field inventing entirely new capabilities can benefit.
How government grants support emerging technologies
Now we find ourselves in yet another technological revolution underpinned by cloud infrastructure, AI, and machine learning technology. AI at the heart of this revolution is disrupting every industry such as science and finance. We delve into a few industries where AI based emerging technologies are actively reshaping the landscape:
Regulatory Technology (RegTech):
- The adoption of AI in the field of regulatory technology is redefining how businesses address compliance. We are witnessing the development of advanced AI-driven RegTech platforms, designed to assess compliance risks, predict potential issues, monitor transactions, expedite customer due diligence, and automate regulatory reporting. Government’s support for RegTech is evident through both direct and indirect funding mechanisms, aimed to help companies mitigate financial risks. Grant programs such as the Business Research and Innovation Initiative (BRII) demonstrates the government’s commitment in this area. Specifically, a round of funding in 2023 focused on RegTech solutions designed to streamline compliance for businesses and individuals.
Education Technology (EdTech):
- With approximately 600 EdTech companies in Australia, the proliferation of AI in this sector is transforming the learning landscape. By 2025, over 1 billion students worldwide are projected to embrace EdTech.
- In Australia, AI-powered tools are emerging to address the learning gap between disadvantaged and advantaged students. These tools are multifaceted, offering student-oriented, teacher-oriented, and system-oriented solutions. They facilitate personalised learning experiences, support lesson planning, offer diagnostic tools, and employ data-driven insights to enhance program and policy designs. Outside of the R&D Tax Incentive, Study NSW works with education providers and industry to advance and diversify EdTech, you can find more information here.
Agricultural Technology (AgTech):
- AI is revolutionising agricultural practices across Australia, giving rise to a wave of AI-based AgTech solutions. These encompass technologies that empower machines to perform tasks that typically require human intelligence. The spectrum of AI applications in AgTech includes robotics, machine learning, speech recognition, and remote monitoring of crops. AI-driven AgTech for cattle welfare during heatwaves is a good example. Eligible R&D activity can be characterised around the development of new algorithms that can predict heat stress in cattle by monitoring biometric data, as well as the related systems issuing alerts. Queensland is at the forefront in supporting AgTech; you can find information about AgTech and investment, grants, and funding opportunities here.
In summary, the R&D Tax Incentive combined with other government grant funding is supporting innovation across diverse sectors. We’re lucky to be actively engage with these advancements in our daily work, and we’re here to assist businesses in securing grant funding and R&D Tax Incentive so that they can focus on commercialising their ideas.