AusBiotech responds to National Reconstruction Fund consultation


On behalf of its members representing the Australian life sciences industry, AusBiotech has welcomed the opportunity to respond to the $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF) consultation and put forward a number of recommendations in its submission as the Fund seeks to “add value and develop create high quality, sustainable industries and jobs”.

As the voice and champion of the life sciences sector, AusBiotech’s submission responds to the 21 questions by recommending the optimal design of the Fund for biotech companies to ensure valuable return to Australia both economically and socially.

Highlighting the unique characteristics of the sector when compared to other priority sectors included in the Fund, key messages included the need for patient capital for sustainable growth opportunities; the need to consider companies of all sizes; that success should be measured through a set of balanced financial and non-financial objectives such as patient outcomes and skills and learning development; and the need for biotech-specific expertise at high-level appointments to maximise the contribution of industry knowledge and skills.

In addition, the submission highlighted the opportunity to reframe the National Reconstruction Fund into a ‘fund of funds’ where greater private and public investment into the sector can be added, for example, superannuation funds. This could then create a mechanism to both attract and build (diversify) investments, as well as to overcome key skills gaps that the sector is currently facing.

The NRF is a key initiative of the Australian Government’s A Future Made in Australia policy, announced in October’s Federal Budget. The Fund will co-invest in independently assessed projects that drive economic growth across seven priority areas and over seven years, including $1.5 billion in ‘medical science’ as well as $1 billion each for critical technologies and advanced manufacturing.

The submission refers strongly to the Biotechnology Blueprint, which is the shared vision for the Australian biotechnology ecosystem aimed at delivering benefits and returns to all Australians.

Read the full submission now.