Stone & Chalk requests urgent Government assistance to support the Australian innovation industry

30 March 2020. Over the last few weeks, Stone & Chalk has submitted a range of submissions to the Australian Government to improve support to the innovation industry. Some of these submissions were in train prior to the current COVID-19 crisis. However the crisis has prompted a more urgent review of the sector — it is no longer about strengthening the sector but now more about survival and recovery. We are urging the Government to recognise that irrespective of the challenges we face, strong employment growth comes from companies driving higher complexity to achieve better supply chains.

Australian Innovation Collective

Stone & Chalk is a key member of The Australian Innovation Collective which has been formed urgently to allow the innovation ecosystem to speak with one voice to Government. This is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our submission is an urgent and critical request for assistance from the Australian Government by the high growth technology companies in Australia, and requests urgent and specific stimulus for our sector, including:

  • Indirect stimulus measures with no direct cost to Government
  • Deferred revenue measures
  • Direct stimulus with cash-equivalent support from Government
  • Regulatory support with mandated action by other organisations.

Areas of immediate temporary stimulus recommended include:

  • Turbo-charging the R&D incentives
  • Unlocking private sector investment
  • Retaining vital infrastructure
  • Supporting high growth businesses at risk
  • Retaining, upskilling and applying our talent.

You can read our full submission here.

Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology

Stone & Chalk was asked to provide further input to the Federal Government’s Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology following S&C’s written submission in Dec 2019 and appearance at the Select Committee’s public hearing in Sydney in Feb 2020.

In particular, the Senate Select Committee was looking at opportunities for Government to promote effective and sustainable growth within these sectors. However many of their recommendations will affect all startups and scaleups — not just FinTechs and RegTechs.

Thank you to the Stone & Chalk community and the wider ecosystem for providing feedback to help us shape our submission which covered:

Four Pillar policy: Recommendations regarding Australia’s Four Pillars Policy

R&D Tax incentives: Recommendations relating to new R&D Tax Credit legislation.

Early-stage investment: How can Australia improve the quality and quantity of available investment at seed stages for startups and scaleups. This incorporates recommendations regarding ESIC and ESVCLPs.

Procurement: Recommendations relating to the implementation of appropriate government procurement frameworks which are tailored to buying from startups and scaleups.

Regulators competition mandate: Recommendations relating to introducing a Competition Mandate for Regulators.

Lifelong learning programs: Recommendations relating to ways in which programs enabling lifelong learning can help workers retrain and transition into emerging industries and jobs in Australia.

You can read our full submission here.

Senate Standing Committees on Economics

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Research and Development Tax Incentive) Bill 2019 is currently before Parliament. We have taken this opportunity to make a direct submission to the Senate Standing Committees outlining the recommendations relating to new R&D Tax Credit legislation that were included in our submission to the Senate Select Committee on Financial Technology and Regulatory Technology.

You can read our full submission here.

For more information please contact Alex Scandurra, CEO, Stone & Chalk

Stone & Chalk is Australasia’s leading nonprofit technology innovation hub in Sydney, Melbourne & Adelaide.