New Year resolutions to continue growing the biotech industry


The New Year has dawned with news that the strength and success of the biotech sector delivered over the past year, and continued over Christmas. Over $1.06 billion total capital was raised by Australian biotech across the year (Bioshares), ending with a late December announcement from Ellex Medical Lasers of a $100 million deal.

The Adelaide-based medtech company developing technology for the diagnosis and treatment of eye disease, announced the sale of its lasers and ultra-sound business to Lumibird (France).

The time is here to list AusBiotech’s New Year’s resolutions, which will buoy and grow the Australian biotechnology industry, support your success and ensure the new decade is biotech’s best one yet.

New Year’s resolution one: Developing the Australian Biotechnology 2030 Plan – get involved

Biotech’s importance has been recognised by Government, with an Australian Biotechnology 2030 Plan (the Plan) being co-developed with AusBiotech, the Department of Health, and the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science. This decadal framework is a powerful long-term approach to healthcare and will facilitate the growth potential of the sector.

AusBiotech’s annual Industry Position Survey is being released next week, and will be the first opportunity to get involved. What you tell us will inform both AusBiotech’s advocacy for the year ahead, as well as inform the Plan for the next decade, ensuring the sector continues to prosper.

New Year’s resolution two: Save the dates in your diary for key events

Facilitating international opportunities for investment discussions, collaborations and partnerships is crucial for the growth of Australian life sciences sector and ultimately for continuing Australia’s position in the life sciences sector globally.

This week, at JP Morgan 2020, AusBiotech is working toward a dedicated hub for Australian biotech leaders attending JP Morgan 2021. Australian biotech leaders are gathering tonight at a booked-out networking reception in San Francisco. The 2021 Australian Hub will be a space devoted to Australian life sciences companies, enabling bigger and bolder conversations across the global community.

The annual event is an important opportunity for investors and industry to engage with global life science decision makers, and the room will be brimming with innovative ideas and thoughtful discussion on investment, collaborations and partnerships. More than 180 Australian delegates expressed their interest in this year’s invitation-only opportunity, demonstrating the internationally-recognised strength of the Australian life sciences sector.

The annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference is the largest and most informative healthcare investment symposium in the industry, bringing together industry leaders, emerging fast-growth companies, innovative technology creators, and members of the investment community.

Biotech Showcase, which coincides with JP Morgan, welcomes more than 3,700 delegates, 400 company presentations, more than 1,000 investors, and 2,200 companies from more than 50 countries.

AusBiotech’s 2020 networking reception was supported by Trade and Investment Queensland, Global Victoria, and BluePrint Life Sciences Group.

Save the dates for key events:

  • First BioCheers of 2020: VIC: 18 Feb; QLD: 19 Feb; NSW: 20 Feb, in partnership with CSIRO. WA: 12 Feb & SA: 13 Feb, to be launched soon.
  • NSW Women in Life Sciences Luncheon, 6 March, Sydney
  • AusMedtech 2020, 20-21 May, Melbourne
  • BIO International Convention 2020, 8 – 11 June, San Diego
  • Australia Biotech Invest & Partnering, 29 October, Melbourne
  • AusBiotech 2020, 28 – 30 October, Melbourne
  • Australian hub at JP Morgan 2021, 11 – 14 January 2021, San Francisco

New Year’s resolution three: Protect the R&D Tax Incentive

The R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI) is a crucial mechanism for the Australian life sciences sector, and so the success in retaining it is vital to realising our nationally-significant economic and social potential.

Newly proposed cuts to the RDTI Bill were introduced without notice on the last sitting day of 2019; the vast majority of SMEs and companies in life sciences will be disadvantaged in their claims if the proposed changes go ahead. AusBiotech will continue to partner with members and industry bodies to strongly advocate on behalf of the sector.

All life science companies can help: make a meeting and/or write to their local Federal Member to highlight the importance of the RDTI; to explain what the impact will mean to their business; and to illustrate the importance of what’s at stake if the proposed changes go ahead. Find your member here.

With so much going on, it’s bound to be an exciting year. Your industry body looks forward to a successful year as it continues to work with you and on your behalf to make it a year to be celebrated.