Posted: December 2021
Be the go-to source for the Healthtech Industry and Victorian Government for data and insights on sector potential, priorities and needs.
Work with the Healthtech Industry to identify and prioritise strategic projects and working groups and advisory panels that support industry transformation and strengthening of the local innovation ecosystem.
Often the first three elements of our strategy strongly interrelate:
We partnered with LaunchVic and Startup Genome to support the development of the Startup Genome report on the state of the ecosystem in Victoria. Together we were able to provide a list of 180 life sciences organisations across all sectors.
This was an exciting opportunity to raise awareness, attract investors and other international resources to Victoria. Read about Startup Genome and find the report here.
From this work, Melbourne can now be reported to be part of the top 10% of start-up destinations for Global Life Sciences.
Over the past weeks, we have completed our involvement in the mapping of the Victorian MedTech product development infrastructure for the Department of Jobs Precincts and Regions (DJPR) through the Australian MedTech Manufacturing Centre (AMMC), along with Dandolo Partners.
This was an opportunity to map the entire environment around MedTech product development in Victoria from earliest stages right through to final manufacturing and commercialisation.
Announced in November 2020, the Australian MedTech Manufacturing Centre (AMMC) has been given $20M funding. This new hub will put Victoria at the forefront of medical technology, innovation and design. AMMC aims to champion, develop and identify new opportunities for Victoria’s MedTech manufacturing and innovation sector.
International air freight is at the very heart of import and export trade for the Healthtech Industry. Organisations conducting clinical trials, companies manufacturing medical devices and pharmaceuticals or operating commercial labs all require a reliable, cost effective and robust air freight infrastructure. The current Federal Government support, which is underwriting much of Australia’s air freight capacity through the International Freight Assistance Mechanism (IFAM), is scheduled to end in June 2022.
Even with the continuance of some level of IFAM support through next year, we know from IATA that international passenger services won’t revert to so-called normal levels until at least 2024. Prior to the pandemic, passenger travel subsidised international air freight, as most of that freight travelled in the baggage hold of international flights. It is certain that even once international passenger travel resumes, air freight costs and lead times will remain significantly different from our pre-pandemic levels.
Over the past two months we’ve completed an issues paper describing the impact of the pandemic on freight and logistics in our sector. We developed and delivered an industry survey that over 40 companies completed and held a range of one-on-one interviews with a representative industry organisations as well as Australia’s Air Vice Marshall Marg Staib and the Victorian State Government.
In November we held an event to present the results. You can view the video recording here.
Late 2020 we connected with the national Australian MedTech Manufacturing Consortium. This group comprises both national and state-based industry associations, as well as major companies such as Cochlear, Resmed, CSL and others. With them, we submitted a white paper (including outlining key features that would ensure success) to the Australian Federal Government highlighting the need for a patent box regime.
When a patent box regime was announced as part of the budget in June 2020, Treasury individually met with a range of organisations to gather input into their initial draft regime, in preparation for publication of a public draft patent box regime. A subgroup of this consortium, along with a broader range of national and state industry associations, met in July to discuss our Treasury submission approach. It identified that a consolidated effort with aligned submissions would show a consistent message, nationally. From this a range of individual corporations and industry bodies prepared their respective submissions to Treasury.
BioMelbourne Network submitted to on the patent box regime to Treasury on the 19 August 2021. Our submission messaging was carefully aligned with other state and national industry bodies, including AusBiotech.
The development of a meaningful patent box regime is still some way off. While a submission to Treasury is valuable, individual submissions don’t always reflect overarching industry support. Over the past quarter BioMelbourne Network has worked to develop a public joint statement of support for the patent box regime with Research Australia, AusBiotech and Medicines Australia to ensure that Government ministers on both sides of the aisle are provided with a unified message.
In seeking to deliver on its strategy and to meet the needs of its diverse membership BioMelbourne Network recognises the importance and value of its research members which include not only Universities and Research Institutions but also individual researchers. BioMelbourne Network also understands that the diversity of its access to the broader Healthtech Industry provides a variety of skills and capabilities that may be useful to R&D institutions and vice versa.
BioMelbourne Network is seeking to understand how it can better serve its research members.
In focusing on the needs of the research community we have two key areas of focus:
Individual Researchers (and especially Early to Mid-Career Researchers EMCR)
The Research Institutions
Be the peak body for the Victorian Healthtech Industry to build and maintain a supportive policy, regulatory and investment environment.
Advocacy is not only defined as the number of submissions provided to the Government on specific policy issues. Advocacy is also supporting sector priorities and representing our interests, exercising agency to influence direction, through involvement in Government initiatives and through collaboration with national industry associations.
Here are some other areas we have been working on behalf of the sector:
BioMelbourne Network was involved in a consultation process with the Breakthrough Victoria Fund to inform the development of their investment plan. In a recent letter from John Brumby, he thanked BioMelbourne Network for our participation and outlined four key themes across their priority sectors:
As we gain more clarity with respect to the Breakthrough Victoria Fund, we’ll be there to support its implementation and to keep you informed of the opportunities.
BioMelbourne Network participated in the Victoria Summit 2021’s “Summit Pathways Day”. This was an opportunity to come together with thought leaders from industry, unions, governments, and educational institutions and work together to create a compelling and aspirational vision for Victoria, and a path for our state’s economic recovery and long-term prosperity. Specifically, we discussed how to achieve the key themes developed during the August “Vision Day” around business and economy, future of work, community, health, and wellbeing. We’ll be participating in another round, which will focus on developing specific actions that can be taken to deliver key outcomes for each of these themes.
BioMelbourne Network has been actively supporting the Victorian Government’s “Approach to Market” launched by the Federal Government to develop population scale mRNA vaccine manufacturing within 1-3 years, as well as the Victorian state initiative to put $50M into mRNA vaccine manufacturing.
Australian Medtech Manufacturing Centre (AMMC): In November 2020, BioMelbourne Network was involved with the early consultation with the Victorian Government around the development of the AMMC to provide insights around the needs of the sector and where the AMMC might have the greatest impact. The AMMC is a $20 million hub that will help put Victoria at the forefront of medical technology, innovation and design. The hub will champion, develop and identify new opportunities for Victoria’s MedTech manufacturing and innovation sector. With the recent placement of Shelley Jackson into the role as AMMC’s Director, they are expected to ramp up activities in support of the sector.
BioMelbourne Network has been participating in discussions with the Federal Global Business & Talent Attraction Taskforce and the availability of their Global Talent Visa and Beach Head Visa programs which finishes June 2022. We met with Peter Verwer the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy for Global Business and Talent Attraction with the Australian Government, and Sarah Thapa Managing Director at the Migration Agency to discuss the program. Please reach out to get more information on the program and visit their website to learn more about the criteria. Special thanks to Marilyn Jones for initiating the discussion with the Federal Government along with nearly all the key state and national industry bodies in Australia.
Some important facts
We also participated in the Australian Research Council’s Workforce Capacity Summit at the end of November. A survey was issued to collect input from the Victorian Healthtech Industry across relevant sectors of focus in preparation for our involvement in the summit. Thanks to all members who participated in providing their insights in this important program.