Forum for Operational Oceanography News

The R&D Tax Incentive: helping businesses innovate in marine industries

March 2015

The Australian Government’s support of the inaugural Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography recognised the value of enabling greater research/industry collaboration. Marine industries and the marine and climate science community working more closely together can improve national wellbeing and grow the ‘blue economy’. The R&D Tax Incentive programme provides financial assistance for companies in all industry sectors, including marine industries, to invest in – and grow – their R&D capacity. It can potentially help FOO members to innovate together.

The R&D Tax Incentive programme has assisted thousands of businesses to be more competitive and innovative through undertaking eligible research and development activities.

The R&D Tax Incentive provides a targeted and generous incentive for companies in all industry sectors, including marine industries and oceanography to invest in – and grow – their R&D capacity. From developing systems to generating energy from the ocean’s waves to innovative fish feeding control technology, R&D is an important driver of productivity and economic growth.

The R&D Tax Incentive is easy to access and open to most businesses that are undertaking eligible R&D activities. The programme provides a 45 per cent refundable tax offset for most small to medium businesses with an aggregated annual turnover of less than $20 million per annum; and a 40 per cent non-refundable tax offset to other eligible businesses.

Businesses such as BioPower Systems Pty Ltd have already benefited from the programme’s generous tax incentive. The company is developing the next generation of ocean energy systems, designed for survival and inspired by nature to harness the power of waves and tides. Founder and Managing Director, Dr Tim Finnigan says the R&D Tax Incentive “has given us the opportunity to carry out more R&D than we otherwise would have been able to, and this accelerates our commercialisation process”.

Last year, the Australian Government recognised the contribution of the marine and climate science community to Australia’s national wellbeing at the Inaugural Australian Forum for Operational Oceanography. Greater collaboration between industry and Australia’s science and research community was highlighted as a priority with a desire for researchers and industry to work hand in hand.

To find out how your business can benefit for the R&D Tax Incentive, go to or call
13 28 46

To learn more about companies who have already benefitted from the programme read our customer stories and check out our series of videos.