Guest post by Ben Ball, Business Development Manager, Australian Consulate-General
For most businesses, intellectual property is the foundation you build on. Transforming an idea into a product is only half the battle—the way you take that product to market may ultimately play a larger part in how your company succeeds or fails than the quality of the product itself.
In the healthcare industry, intellectual property plays a much larger role in success. If you have a drug that works, the market will often come to you. If your drug doesn’t work, then you don’t have a company at all.
Unfortunately, creating IP in the healthcare industry can be an expensive and time-consuming process. Many companies simply run out of money before their research and development efforts bear fruit. Others spend years inching through the costly clinical trials process, only to find that promising initial results can’t be replicated on a larger scale.
Minimizing the cost of developing healthcare IP can be the difference between commercial success and failure, particularly for small startups. With this in mind, companies often seek out the many R&D incentives offered by countries around the world. In a market where outlasting the development process requires a significant war chest, R&D incentives can give companies the staying power they need to survive.
Australia enjoys a well-deserved reputation as a global leader in developing healthcare IP. Most health care businesses know about Australia’s highly developed clinical trial infrastructure, which tests innovative therapies in a population representative of developed economies at a fraction of the usual cost. Others are aware that Australia’s universities are global leaders in healthcare, producing both talent and IP which continue to grow the industry down under.
Yet what many businesses don’t know is that Australia also offers up to 45% in refundable tax offsets for R&D activities. Businesses which perform their R&D work in Australia can significantly reduce their development costs through these incentives, increasing their ability to make it across the finish line and into the market.
So not only does Australia offer a world class infrastructure for healthcare development, but it also happens to be one of the least expensive places for health care companies to do business. It’s a classic win-win.
Claiming the tax incentives is simple and straightforward. Just register the R&D activities of your Australian business with the government, then claim the offset on the company’s tax return. The definition of what constitutes an eligible activity is broad, extending far beyond the healthcare space and into many other technical industries.
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