MTPConnect - the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre - has launched the final Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP).
The 10-year strategic plan aims to maximise the innovation, productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector.
The final SCP follows input from over 600 sector participants and stakeholders, addressing three key areas considered vital to sector growth: expected future challenges and opportunities; identified areas for regulatory renewal; and, Knowledge Priorities (KPs).
MTPConnect says its long-term vision is to achieve greater commercialisation success, create more products that reach proof-of-concept and early stage commercialisation, increase the number of medium to large companies with late-stage product successes and maximise the value of any intellectual-property, while retaining all current and planned levels of Research and Development (R&D).
While Australia is an acknowledged world leader in the MTP sector due to its 'ecosystem' of start-ups, established companies and thriving research environment, it has yet to reach its full commercialisation potential.
According to MTPConnect, by addressing the key issue of collaboration, along with well-known barriers - including funding, skills, policy and regulatory impediments - the SCP calculates the MTP sector could achieve significant healthcare and economic contributions:
- An additional $3.2 billion in industry Gross Value Added (GVA) per annum, an increase of 75% compared to 2015, resulting in an additional cumulative GVA of $18 billion over the 10-year period of 2015 to 2025; and,
- An additional 28,000 jobs compared to 2015, representing job growth of 60% compared to 2015. 14,000 of these jobs in Universities and MRIs, which reflects the substantial increase in research funding being delivered by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
Sue MacLeman, Chief Executive Officer of MTPConnect, said: “Our consultations with sector participants and reviews demonstrate that the MTP sector has all the hallmarks of the high-skilled and innovation-based economy that Australia must develop to secure sustainable wealth and employment growth for its future.
"As set out in the Sector Competitiveness Plan, our vision will be to create a more unified approach to the development and promotion of Australia as an attractive R&D hub and destination for clinical trials”.
To deliver on this vision, MTPConnect will focus on three key types of activity:
- Directly facilitating commercialisation, collaboration and connectivity by aggregating and disseminating critical knowledge and skills, developing guidelines for allocating R&D grants and funding, working with pharmaceutical, biotech and medtech companies and universities to articulate and implement knowledge priorities, and identifying best practices to adapt and implement across Australia;
- Providing an independent voice to shape policy and regulatory renewal, and to influence the direction of funding; and,
- Providing funding for targeted, sector-led projects. With access to a dedicated funding pool of $15.6 million over four years, MTPConnect is working with industry, research organisations and universities to jointly fund projects that align with the Sector Growth Priorities and drive greater commercialisation.
In October 2016, MTPConnect announced 14 successful projects to receive funding of $7.4 million over the next two years, with matched funding of $32 million from sector participants.