Life sciences is a growing priority on state government agendas, with South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia 2023-24 State budgets earmarking a combined $179.1 million to provide industry, SMEs and manufacturing support.
The recently-announced 2023-24 budgets delivered by the South Australian, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia governments collectively deliver up to $179.1 million and a range of initiatives to support industry development in respective states.
The South Australia (SA) State Budget, delivered on 15 June, committed an additional $20.0 million over four years to the Research and Innovation Fund. The funding will support research excellence in SA, increase research and industry collaboration, translation and commercialisation, development and industry application of critical technologies and investments to support the growth of innovative early-stage business addressing national and international markets. Funding will also provide continued funding support to management and operations at Lot Fourteen.
SA also made a future commitment to the Economic Recovery Fund, earmarking $22 million in 2026-27 to support initiatives that build advanced capabilities, increased productivity, innovative technologies and long-term employment opportunities in South Australia. The new commitment increases the value of the Economic Recovery Fund to $122 million.
The SA Government will also invest $20.9 million over four years to support the operations of six SA-based National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy facilities, including new funding to upgrade equipment to support leading-edge research and innovation.
The Queensland (QLD) State Budget, delivered on 13 June, saw $32.2 million made available through the 'Made in Queensland’ programme to assist small to medium-sized manufacturers to increase international competitiveness, productivity, and innovation via the adoption of new technologies, systems and processes, and to generate high-skilled jobs for the future.
While the programme is sector agnostic, applications from manufacturers in the QLD Government’s priority industry sectors, which includes the biomedical sector, are being encouraged[i].
The QLD Government also has committed $16.3 million to support women’s economic security, including grants, training, and increased investment for women in business and innovation, women in male-dominated industries, and disadvantaged and vulnerable women.
The Victoria State Budget, delivered on 23 May, announced $21 million for a Manufacturing and Industry Sovereignty Fund and support for Victorian businesses to access the Commonwealth’s $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund (NRF), in order to support local industries and promote economic growth within the state.
The Victoria Government also announced the inception of a $15 million Industry R&D Infrastructure Fund to incentivise private industry investment into research and development. While the programme designs are still to be finalised, both funds are understood to be sector agnostic with life sciences outlined as one of the key industries identified.
To further support Victoria’s growing mRNA industry, the budget also included an additional $12 million to assist mRNA manufacturing by supporting the delivery of major sovereign mRNA manufacturing facilities in Victoria.
The Western Australia (WA) State Budget, delivered on 11 May, outlined a number of initiatives to support the local life sciences sector. During 2023-24, the WA Government will implement the WA Health and Medical Life Science Industry Strategy, to capitalise on the growing demand for health, medical technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals and to move along the value chain from research to product development and commercialisation.
To attract investment and new industries, new initiatives were announced, including a commitment of $10.1 million to establish a new Americas hub in Austin, Texas and the development of a ten-year vision for WA to become a globally-renowned hub of invention, investment, innovation and impact.
To support innovation and the digital economy, the New Industries Fund will receive a further $9.1 million to further drive innovation, develop and attract entrepreneurs, create jobs, and deliver targeted support for female and Indigenous founders and businesses seeking to commercialise their products.
WA Government also plans on investing $500,000 to develop a Digital Economy Strategy, and supporting a Life Sciences Innovation Hub to build capability, economic resilience, jobs and connect small and medium-sized enterprises to local, national and international networks.
AusBiotech looks forward to providing a life science-focused wrap on the New South Wales State Budget announcement due on 19 September.
[i] Page 13. https://www.rdmw.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/1645142/miq-program-round-5-guidelines.pdf