Jobs and exports grew in 2016

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New data from MTPConnect, the government-funded Medical Technology, Biotechnology, and Pharmaceutical Industry Growth Centre, shows the sector's contribution to the Australian economy rose substantially in 2016.

The data, sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), shows jobs supported by the sector increased by 10 per cent in 2016 to 62,000 while the value of its export of manufactured goods rose 30 per cent to $5.2 billion. 

MTPConnect says it has released the updated data, building on its Sector Competiveness Plan, to provide a benchmark for the ongoing measurement and tracking of the sector's performance.

Government has identified the MTP sector as one of six industry priority areas. MTPConnect was established to help the local sector identify more commercialisation opportunities and accelerate its growth.

Jobs in the MTP sector are at the highest level since 2011, it said, with 17,700 in medical technology, 21,700 in pharmaceuticals and 22,650 in research. 

“We’re delighted to share new data that reveals the immense positive impact the MTP sector makes to Australia’s healthcare and economic future," said Sue MacLeman, managing director and CEO of MTPConnect.

"The MTP sector today continues to be a significant contributor to the Australian economy, creating new jobs and increasing export revenue. This growth is set to continue, especially with the recent rapid growth in medicinal and pharmaceutical product exports, combined with steady growth in medical device exports.

“Clinical trials are at the fore, with approximately 1,360 new clinical trials starting in Australia in 2015, driven by the quality of our research infrastructure and output, our medical experts, and financial incentives that support cost competitiveness such as the R&D Tax Incentive.

"The Medical Research Future Fund and Biomedical Translation Fund will result in significant increases in grants, co-investment funds and capital equity from 2017, with c. $250 million in funds already allocated.

“It is an honour to work with such an important and mobilised sector that has seized opportunities to collaboratively and creatively address national sector gaps and constraints. We look forward to driving further discussion and focus in the sector on priority areas shaping the future in which Australia can excel, such as precision medicine, 3D printing and digital health evolution,” added Ms MacLeman.