Included in Insider – Thursday 9 July 2020
I bring with me almost 30 years of experience with international R&D, product and market development, manufacturing and commercialisation across the Americas, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. I’ve worked extensively as a mentor to universities and medical research organisations around the world supporting the translation and commercialisation of their work from research to market. I’ve also worked with a broad range of medical device companies focusing on product innovation to meet a market need, most recently including a number of COVID- related projects.
As I take up this role it’s impossible to ignore the impact of COVID-19 and the tragic human toll it continues to exact around the world. COVID-19 has upended research, commercialisation and innovation activities. Funding and Investment strategies have had to be revisited and realigned. Some activities have been derailed, some deferred, while others have been fast-tracked and power-charged. COVID-19 has brought (back) into view the critical importance of having local manufacturing capabilities; and has given us a new lens through which to view globalisation and our position in it.
We can’t isolate ourselves going forward, but it seems like we can strike a new – and better – balance. How often have we treated our research as a commodity, like iron ore, that we dig up and ship overseas for the value add? COVID-19 has affirmed that, much like the coveted food security that Australia enjoys, we must revisit how we view and value our manufacturing sector and leverage the blend of research, commercialisation and innovation capabilities that we have to support not just our local market, but the world. With our target markets often overseas, we’ve learned to be flexible, collaborative and globally competitive; we need to harness that.
The health industry ecosystem across Australia, and more specifically Victoria, has strengths that are globally recognised and increasingly sought after. Our successes in managing the pandemic have placed us in a uniquely strong position to leverage our collective strengths.
Some Network Members, industry stakeholders and partners have been severely and negatively impacted by COVID-19 while others have thrived. I see my first priority as I take on the CEO role as coming in to listen, to understand your needs and those of the industry, and to work with you to find new ways to ensure that the BioMelbourne Network can deliver value to you and the sector in this new and shifting environment.
BioMelbourne Network’s Members are the beating heart of the health industry ecosystem – and it’s a privilege to have the opportunity to take up the CEO role at this time of great challenge and great opportunity.
The Board and Staff of BioMelbourne Network welcome Jeff to the team – and look forward to his official commencement next week!