Fixing Up a BERD Brained Scheme


More than half of all business expenditure on R&D (BERD) is in the manufacturing and mining industries. Is it missing the point?

Almost three-quarters of that spend comes from larger businesses, with 200 or more employees. Yet you’d hope that these figures cut across a broader variety of industries and company sizes. Surely innovation can come from anywhere?

Economist Nicholas Gruen of Lateral Economics says expenditure is influenced heavily by the current tax concessions for R&D. He says they’re not working as intended and abolishing them will have little or not impact on company behaviour. Instead, in this edition of BTalk, he suggests a more focused approach, with more money available for projects that meet a tighter definition of research and development. Although the arguments seem convincing the proposed scheme is struggling to get through the Senate.

First published on CBS News

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