AusBiotech reports on year of commitment and growth


The AusBiotech 2017 Annual Report, launched yesterday, shows an organisation committed to the industry and positive growth indicators for the sector.

AusBiotech Chair, Julie Phillips, said “Testament to the hard work and commitment of the life sciences industry and on behalf the Board, staff and committee members, AusBiotech has continued to underpin the future growth of the Australian life sciences industry.”

The Report outlines the results of AusBiotech’s 2017 Industry Position Survey, released in May, showing the strongest year on record for the sector.

However, the survey also revealed the industry’s fears around policy change on the R&D Tax Incentive, while AusBiotech continues to maintain strong connections with government and encourages members to be active and collaborative with other representative organisations.

In addition to the R&D Tax Incentive, issues impacting across the industry this reporting period included the Federal Government’s sudden and damaging tightening of skilled migration visas, prostheses list reform and regulatory reform with the implementation of the Review of Medicines and Medical Devices.

The Board is focused on AusBiotech’s delivery against the organisation’s strategic plan, which is reviewed annually to ensure the strategies remain relevant to our members and the sector. This year’s work-plan has been largely consistent with previous years, with one notable difference being the stand-alone objective to facilitate investment into the Australian life sciences.

During the period, a review of the Australian life-sciences operating environment was conducted to inform the Board’s current review of the strategic plan to ensure AusBiotech’s role and priorities in the coming years are relevant to members.

More than 80 AusBiotech events were held over the reporting period, and included AusMedtech, the AusAg and Food Summit and a second NSW Women ln Life Sciences Luncheon.

Australia has continued to maintain healthy and growing metrics and to rank among the top five countries globally in biotechnology. The ASX-listed Australian life science industry is valued at more than AU$100 billion (by market capitalisation) and comprises around 100 companies. The industry has seen healthy capital raisings with a record AU$1.38 billion raised in 2016.

According to a recent McKell Institute report (2016, Bio-Savvy: how Australia can build a stronger biotechnology industry) the industry is expected to grow by 4.4% annually, reaching a projected AU$8.67 billion in aggregate revenues by 2021. It employs over 48,000 Australians in high-value STEM jobs and is a leading location for life science companies in the Asia Pacific region, with around 300 biotech and 400 medtech companies.

AusBiotech was pleased to have been a recipient of funds for two projects from the 2016 MTP Connect funding round. One project has delivered a “Roadmap to a Successful IPO for Life Sciences Companies” guidance, amid a broader project to support investment in the life sciences.

AusBiotech has strengthened its international industry collaboration during this reporting period, again leading the 200-strong delegation to BIO, the world’s largest biotechnology congress and also signing MoUs with BioCom, Korea’s Council for Advanced Regenerative Medicine (CARM) and Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI) and participated in a trade mission to Japan.

“AusBiotech’s success and continuous improvement are very much about culture: a willingness to reject complacency, measure progress and constantly strive for better outcomes. This culture and systematic approach underpins the workings of the AusBiotech Board and management, its members and the industry, said Ms Phillips.

AusBiotech was proud to host the International BioFest in October 2016, the largest gathering of Australia’s life sciences community including scientific and industrial communities of biotechnologists and green chemists. Our first venture showcasing industry, investment and research, the event gathered three major conferences operating as one integrated network.

“I can confidently say that the past 12 months have been a journey of achievement, celebration and challenges for AusBiotech. Working on behalf of our members for over 30 years and facilitating and driving global development of Australia’s life sciences industry, AusBiotech has delivered strong financial results on the back of a variety of programs and activities, which span the life sciences ecosystem and its global network,” said Glenn Cross delivered his first annual report as CEO of AusBiotech.

“Working with informed and passionate membership, we have followed our vision to be the leading Australian industry body representing and advocating for organisations doing business in and with the global life sciences economy.”

“AusBiotech is unique in that it has a broad sectorial membership, including industry, service providers and 53 universities and medical research institutes. It is also unique in its functioning as an advocacy organisation as well as business and has pleasingly leveraged membership subscription by three times to underpin its membership services,” he said.

The full Annual Report, including the financials can be found online.