Expanding lab operations in 2022


Friday, 03 June, 2022

Expanding lab operations in 2022

New financial year — new research and development opportunities. If your lab is small and wants to tackle larger and more complex research projects, you’re going to have to consider expanding your lab operations. That may mean larger premises, more advanced equipment, and hiring additional technicians or research assistants.

Research, innovation and development doesn’t come cheap, as we all know — and a lot of money has to be poured into R&D before gaining any measurable and marketable results. So how can you expand your lab operations while maintaining cashflow and keeping your focus on growth?

Here are some ways to secure funding for expanding your lab operations in 2022.

Research and development grants and initiatives

AusIndustry is the government hub for innovation- and R&D-oriented businesses and enables their business growth. This may encompass direct grants, help for innovation, competition and funding, or incentives for investment. The Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&D Tax Incentive or R&DTI) is a tax offset which encompasses:

  • a 43.5% refundable tax offset available to companies with an annual turnover of less than $20 million;
  • a 38.5% non-refundable tax offset available to companies with an annual turnover of more than $20 million.

Though not specifically a grant, the offset can drastically reduce costs or increase opportunities for research and development as investments are offset by tax reductions. Other grants may be available specifically for defence research via the Office of Defence Industry Support.

In the medical field, the Medical Research Future Fund encompasses many biotech and medical R&D grants looking to invest $20 billion in health and medical research.

State and local grants

As of writing, there are 737 state-based grants and funding or support programs from across state and local governments. Business.gov.au has a register of grants and funding opportunities targeting specific industries and locations, as well as special programs for Indigenous businesses. State business offices may also provide expertise and advice to your business to enhance your standing with grant or funding applications, providing tools, mentors or ancillary businesses to assist with writing or formulating your grant submissions.

Compare different business loans

Grants from the state and federal governments can take a long time to come through — if they come through at all. Some grants may be suspended and rescinded entirely, like they were with the Australian Government’s R&D Start program in April of 2002.

Though R&D can take time to become profitable, your business should consider available business loans to ensure your business has working capital and asset finance when required. You don’t have to wait around for major venture capital or enterprise firms to provide loans: you can approach business brokers that can tailor solutions for short-term cashflow funding, or large, long-term asset purchases using chattel mortgages which also have numerous tax advantages such as claiming your GST, interest and depreciation — as well as funding more than the value of the equipment to ensure your purchase is cashflow neutral.

Information is correct at time of writing — these initiatives were announced during the previous Liberal/National Coalition government and may be subject to change.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/pathdoc

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