Report shows life sciences’ economic contribution


The impact of the Victorian Government’s investment in health and medical research has been revealed through its newly released report ‘Creating a healthy future.’

The report dives into how successive Victorian Governments have invested in the health and medical research system over the past twenty years, and the impact these investments have had.

The primary findings demonstrate life sciences’ economic contribution, with every dollar of Victorian Government funding invested to support the health and medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sectors has generated an additional Gross State Product (GSP) of $3.66 and additional income of $4.54 in Victoria.

Dr Amanda Caples says, “We have an opportunity to build on the evidence base presented in this report to inform a new 10-year investment framework that continues to stimulate and sustain a strategic economic asset that has demonstrated its value in rising to urgent health challenges.”

The report highlights how Victorian medtech and pharmaceutical companies spend just under $1 billion a year on research and development, and their exports are worth over $2.4 billion each year.

Biotechnology offers high-worth jobs. Medical research institutes (MRIs) in Victoria employ almost 5,000 people and, in 2018-2019, spent $365 million on research activities, ran almost 600 clinical trials, spun out five start-up companies and received $223 million in competitive grant income from government and philanthropic organisations.

To further demonstrate the impact of the sector, 11 case studies spanning the biotech pipeline are presented. These illustrate the diversity, strategic intent, and impacts over time, and include AusBiotech members: Bio21 Institute; Walter and Eliza Hill Institute of Medical Research; Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute; Murdoch Children’s Research Institute; CSL; Burnet Institute, and the BioMelbourne Network.

The value of AusBiotech, and its drive to facilitate local, national and international networks, was acknowledged as a feature of Victoria’s approach to developing the health and medical research and biotechnology industry sectors. AusBiotech thanks the Victorian Government for its ongoing support in premier conferences, including AusMedtech 2021, and to BIO: the industry’s largest international conference.

The research was commissioned by Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples, and the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (DJPR). It draws on a number of data sets, including AusBiotech’s Sector Snapshot 2019, which maps the growth of the Australian biotechnology ecosystem.