LLEAF is changing how we use sunlight to grow food

The startup is developing more efficient ways to harness sunlight thanks to our Research and Development Tax Incentive.

Luminescent Light Emitting Agricultural Film (LLEAF) has created a way to shift the wavelength of sunlight. This helps improve plant growth and develop bigger crop output.

The Sydney company’s greenhouse film enhances sunlight to improve farming production. Its innovation is helping create a more food-secure future.

It really incentivises companies to be here and not not go overseas

because this is a program that is very attractive.

Hi, I'm Alexander Soeriyadi,

I'm the CEO and co-founder of Lleaf.

Lleaf stands for Luminescent Light Emitting Agricultural Film.

Basically what we are doing is we create a material, a luminescent material

that shift the wavelength of light, in this case, sunlight

into a light that is more beneficial for plants to grow.

The Research and Development Tax Incentive

helped us right at the beginning to give us the ability

with the limited resources that we have, to start a spin out

from a university research to outside commercialisation.

Globally at the moment we have about 8 billion people

and projected to be 10 billion people in 2050.

Essentially, we need to produce more food per metre square

In the industry,

you already optimised nutrition, you optimised water, you optimised energy

and we see that sunlight or light in general

is this next frontier that have the opportunity to be optimised.

The R&D tax incentive, of course, helped us from the finance point of view.

But the other part is creating a framework or an education,

in a way, it enforced us to think ahead what is going to be our plan on R&D

and what we want to see from those results.

And this framework also helped

to prepare the material, whether it's to different stakeholders,

our collaborators, our investors.

Long term benefit, it allowed us to exist.

I think that's number one.

And also within the program, there's something called Advance Finding,

that you can consult with the program coordinator to make sure that whether

what project you are doing is eligible for it before you're actually doing it,

to be able to do the planning and forecasting

This program is really helpful.

Whatever risk that you have, you might reduce it tremendously

by using this program and in the long term, this allow

any aspiring entrepreneurs or innovators to develop a technology.

In our field, there's not many

agriculture technology in protected cropping that’s originated from Australia.

So in the long term, we would like to be one of them

that is making the product here, develop here, IP based in Australia

for the Australian market and also the global market.

LLEAF’s red tinted film improves plant growth by creating more usable light from the sun’s rays.

This increase in red light helps plants grow faster and larger, letting farmers and home gardeners grow more fresh produce in the same space.

The company is using the Research and Development Tax Incentive (R&DTI) to develop its breakthrough ag-tech.

The incentive offers companies a tax offset for research and development (R&D), helping to promote investment in new research.

This financial support helps companies like LLEAF to turn ideas and research into viable, marketable products.

The company also found that the planning encouraged by the R&DTI helped prepare it for meetings with potential investors.

The R&DTI is the Australian Government’s main way of promoting industry investment in R&D.

The incentive aims to support innovation that creates economic and social benefits for all Australians by:

  • encouraging industry to conduct R&D that may not otherwise happen
  • offering a greater incentive for smaller firms to do R&D
  • helping companies access reliable research services.

As part of its application process, LLEAF wanted to ensure its R&D activities would be eligible for the tax incentive. To confirm this, it applied for an Advance Finding – an assessment offered as part of the R&DTI to ensure these activies are eligible for the incentive.

LLEAF was able to confirm its activities were eligible for the incentive through this finding, giving it the confidence it needed to carry out its R&D project.

Our department, on behalf of Industry Innovation and Science Australia, jointly administers the R&D Tax Incentive with the Australian Taxation Office.