The significant role that the biotechnology industry can play in our country’s economic future and healthcare, when supported through the right policy levers and support, was highlighted in AusBiotech’s pre-budget submission to the Australian Government Treasury.
Ms Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO, AusBiotech, says, “As our peer nations seek to supercharge their recoveries, competition for business expenditure on research and development (R&D) and its related advanced manufacturing will become increasingly intense, as policymakers all over the world seek to use micro and macro-economic levers to compete for job-creating investments and skills.
“In order for Australia to compete and to emerge as a leader during and after the COVID-19 pandemic, AusBiotech is recommending support across the whole value-creation pathway to keep life sciences jobs, R&D, manufacturing and economic benefits within Australia, rather than losing the benefits of innovation to more competitive jurisdictions.”
To maximise the sector’s export and investment attraction potential – and its capacity to improve lives – AusBiotech urged the Government to focus on three key goals:
- Increasing Business Expenditure on R&D (BERD) and increasing the capability and resilience of manufacturing of local innovation
- Supporting developing small and medium sized companies
- Back the Biotech Blueprint: a vision for biotech beyond COVID-19
Lorraine Chiroiu added, “If Australia is serious about becoming a knowledge-based economy, we need public policy that will encourage the value from home-grown IP and its flow-on benefits to stay in Australia, thereby creating local wealth and jobs, and boosting Australia’s global attractiveness for investment.”
While the country is well on its way to achieving a successful bio-economy, the sector is particularly sensitive to policy settings around investment attraction, research funding along the value creation ‘pipeline’, and the taxation environment, in the context of global enterprise where Australian comparative advantage is key.