AusBiotech welcomes Turnbull ministry

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AusBiotech says it is encouraged by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's early comments backing innovation.

Announcing his first ministry on Sunday, Mr Turnbull said innovation will be at the centre of his Government.

He appointed Education Minister Christopher Pyne Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, replacing Ian Macfarlane, who was not reappointed to the ministry after serving several years as industry minister in the Howard and Abbott governments.

Mr Turnbull appointed Wyatt Roy Assistant Minister for Innovation and Karen Andrews Assistant Minister for Science.

Ms Andrews was formerly Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry and Science.

“The Prime Minister’s enthusiasm is refreshing and a good start, which correctly points to the inevitable and central role of innovation and disruptive technologies in Australia’s future," said AusBiotech CEO Dr Anna Lavelle.

"As the CEO of the national body representing biotechnology, I welcome the change of language from the nation’s leader and look forward to engaging with Minister Pyne on how this vision of an 'agile” technology sector will be achieved," she said.

According to Mr Turnbull, Mr Pyne will focus on addressing existing cultural issues that inhibit cooperation between Australian researchers and industry, an issue that has been repeatedly identified in a series of Government reports and reviews.

"We do a lot of great things in Australia. We do a lot of great research and development, a lot of great science," said Mr Turnbull. "One of the things we do not do well at all is the collaboration between primary research, typically in universities, and business. We're actually the second worst in the OECD, so it is, that is a very, very important priority to make a change to that."

Dr Lavelle also welcomed the appointments of new Treasurer Scott Morrison and Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer, highlighting AusBiotech's call for tax reform to encourage investment.

"AusBiotech has long argued for fundamental tax reform to incentivise investment into local innovative companies and we look forward to the tax white paper which will be overseen by Assistant Treasurer O’Dwyer and Treasurer Scott Morrison,” added Dr Lavelle.