The Business Times

R&D tax regime should include broader range of projects

To allow claims only when the projects are "revolutionary" breakthroughs is to set too high a bar for firms that are still new in their innovation endeavour.

Published Mon, Feb 16, 2015 · 09:50 PM
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IN economic circles, it is taken as received wisdom that innovation - defined here as the application of knowledge in a novel way, primarily for economic benefit - is good. Faster innovation is even better. We can never have too much of it.

Businesses regard it as a sure-win way of beating their corporate competitors. Governments believe innovative environments are crucial for their economies to prosper.

So each year, we see rankings of the "research and development (R&D) intensity" of countries and companies - how much bang we get for each research buck that is spent. It is assumed that more spending leads to better economic or financial outcomes.

In 2014, the biggest R&D spenders were those that we're all familiar with. We encounter them when we drive (Volkswagen, Toyota), answer our phone (Samsung), log in to our computer (Intel, Microsoft, Go…

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