AusBiotech looks forward to supporting the Turnbull Government in its continued work on the National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA).
AusBiotech is especially supportive of the NISA’s proposed Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) to support commercialisation, which it sees as a game-changing package that will transform Australia’s ability to commercialise and benefit from our world-class research and development.
On behalf of its membership, AusBiotech has publicly congratulated the Government on creating and prosecuting the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and fully supports the initiative. It will make a material difference to Australians’ future and will be seen over time as a foundation strategy for improved commercialisation of quality discovery in Australia.
There is universal support for a fund designed to improve the national success rate for commercialising good biomedical science. In order to optimise this policy objective, AusBiotech has supported a portion of the fund being directed to Australian companies commercialising discoveries in the life science space and therefore warmly welcomed the BTF.
The biotechnology and medical technology sectors are particularly excited by the ability of the program’s investment to be a multiplier and make available much-needed capital to translate our research from our universities and medical research into products and services, like medical therapies and cures, medical devices, digital heath solutions, diagnostics and vaccines.
One effect of the fund will be to retain Australian companies on-shore and move technologies along the value chain more quickly for the betterment of the technology and the health outcomes of the Australian community.
The BTF is envisaged as a for-profit investment program of $250 million that is to be matched by an additional $250 million from private investors, so creating a $500 million capital pool available for commercialisation of biotech and medtech projects.
AusBiotech CEO said: “Whilst the argument that there are serious financial constraints for early stage life science companies in Australia is correct, it is also true that there remains a dearth of capital throughout the life cycle of companies and this reality should not be overlooked.”
“A balanced approach is best – with private investors collaborating with government at later stages of company development. The venture capital sector involvement is critical and with the demise of the Innovation Investment Fund, we see the MRFF’s BTF as playing an essential role.”