Victoria wants biotech


The Victorian Government is looking for ideas on how to grow its medical technology and pharmaceutical sector, while enhancing collaboration between industry and its health and medical research sector.

Victoria is home to around 150 biotechnology companies, 10 major medical research institutes, 10 teaching hospitals conducting significant research, and 9 universities.

In a discussion paper, Premier Daniel Andrews says a new strategy willl identify Victoria’s priorities in health and medical research, promote innovation, and prepare the State for the economic and healthcare opportunities on offer both nationally and internationally.

"Victoria could benefit from a more strategic approach to supporting health and medical researchers in accessing significantly higher amounts of funding from overseas, including from industry," says the discussion paper. "For Victoria, there is an opportunity to leverage the Commonwealth programs and build on state programs that provide incentives for the health and medical research sector to collaborate with industry and the international research community."

In a separate discussion paper, the Government is seeking input on growing jobs in Victoria’s medical technology and pharmaceuticals sector.

According to Minister for Industry Lily D’Ambrosio and Minister for Health Jill Hennessy, the Victorian sector is a key driver of economic activity for the state. It employs over 20,000 people and generates $10 billion in revenue, largely through exports to global markets.

The Ministers said the Discussion Paper will inform the $200 million Future Industries Fund, which has been established to invest in six key sectors set to drive Victoria’s future economic growth, and that they will consult widely with relevant industry groups and other stakeholders through targeted roundtables and forums.

According to Ms D’Ambrosio, “Employing over 20,000 people and generating $10 billion in revenue, largely through exports to global markets, the medtech and pharmaceutical sector is a vital part of Victoria’s economy.”

“Medical technologies and pharmaceuticals play a vital role in health and medical research, turning research findings into real health outcomes,” said Minister for Health Jill Hennessy. “We want to build and support Victoria’s medtech and pharmaceutical industry, because not only is it a key economic driver for our State, but it has the power to change lives.”