Australia Betting Big On Nanotechnology

SANTA CLARA, Calif. - Australia's recently announced $21.5 million ($17.8 million U.S.) National Nanotechnology Strategy will make it much more attractive for multinational enterprises in technology intense sectors to establish or expand nanotechnology operations in the land down under.
 
Australia’s Prime Minister John Howard and Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane unveiled the four year strategy as part of the Australian Government's $1.4 billion Industry Statement which also includes tax breaks for R&D investors by extending eligibility for the 175 percent R&D tax concession.
 
Changes to the beneficial ownership test, effective July 1, 2007, will allow companies to claim the tax concession for R&D projects undertaken in Australia, even if the intellectual property is held offshore.
 
Australia's nanotechnology community is comprised of 65 nanotechnology companies and around 90 individual research groups, faculties, facilities and centers from research institutes across Australia. The local industry has increased significantly over the past three years, with the number of companies and research institutes increasing three-fold.
 
"Nanotechnology is a tiny technology with massive potential. It will have a significant impact in the 21st century, just as information technology had in the 20th century," said Fred Welz, Invest Australia's Senior Investment Commissioner for North America. "It has the potential to transform manufacturing, energy, environment management, electronics and communication by introducing new processes, products and services that could be worth up to $50 billion ($41 billion U.S.) over the next decade.”
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