Govt announces plan to boost medical science manufacturing


Monday, 22 April, 2024

Govt announces plan to boost medical science manufacturing

The Australian Government has released the Medical Science Co-investment Plan as part of its mission to deliver a future made in Australia and create more secure, well-paid jobs. The plan sets out how government and industry can work together to grow opportunities in medical manufacturing, building on our medical research capabilities and strong healthcare system.

Australia’s health and medical research sector ranks seventh in the world, with an ecosystem of more than 1200 biotech companies, 55 medical research institutes and 40 medical research-focused universities. But medical manufacturing only accounts for 0.3% of GDP, demonstrating the need to leverage our medical research to create more secure, well-paid jobs.

With this in mind, the new plan identifies a broad range of high-value investment opportunities, including in medical devices, vaccines and personal protective equipment. It also lays out ways to build on Australia’s existing advantages in clinical trial capabilities and therapeutic expertise in oncology, immunology, neurology and cardiovascular disease.

The plan was developed in consultation with industry stakeholders, technical experts and with broad consultation across government. It is the first of seven Co-investment Plans the government will deliver across all of the National Reconstruction Fund’s priority investment areas, including:

  • value-add in resources;
  • value-add in agriculture, forestry and fisheries;
  • transport;
  • renewables and low-emission technologies;
  • defence capability; and
  • enabling capabilities.
     

“This and the other co-investment plans to come underpin our commitment to a Future Made in Australia, giving us a guide to what we can do to boost sovereign capability and tackle supply chain challenges,” said Minister for Industry and Science Ed Husic.

“Too many great Australian ideas have left our shores only to return as an import from another country,” Husic continued, pointing to the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, as a “prime example of … brilliant Australian medical research [that] ended up being manufactured overseas because we didn’t have the capabilities to make it here”.

“As the National Reconstruction Fund works to revitalise manufacturing in key priority areas, we need a clear picture of the challenges and opportunities we face in each sector,” Husic said.

“We can work with other investors and industry partners to grab high-value opportunities before they pass us by.”

The Medical Science Co-investment Plan is now available at https://www.industry.gov.au/MedicalScienceCo-investmentPlan.

Image credit: iStock.com/SeventyFour

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