News & Trends - Biotechnology

Plans to turn WA life sciences industry into world leader

Health Industry Hub | February 17, 2020 |
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Biotech News: A blueprint to position Western Australia as a world leader in the high-growth health and medical life sciences sector is now in development, with the McGowan Government appointing an Industry Reference Group.

The Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Growth Plan will provide a clear set of actions to stimulate and strengthen WA’s health and medical life sciences industry over the next five years – creating jobs and diversifying the State’s economy.

Western Australia has a burgeoning health and medical innovation sector with a history of expertise in in-demand areas including:

  • medical research;
  • new gene technologies;
  • phenomics;
  • medical technology;
  • long-term population health studies; and
  • data linkage and digital health solutions.  

The Industry Reference Group will develop the growth plan over the coming months and the final plan is expected to be released in the second half of the year.

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The group, chaired by Chief Scientist of WA Peter Klinken, includes sector experts Dr Michael Winlo of Emerald Clinics, Dr Katharine Giles of OncoRes Medical, Ms Liddy McCall of Yuuwa Capital and Mr Abdul Ekram of Austrade.

Health Minister Roger Cook said “Perth is emerging as one of Australia’s top life sciences hubs after experiencing substantial growth in recent years. We have a fantastic opportunity to further support our local health and medical life sciences industry which continues to deliver world-leading innovations that improve health outcomes for people in our state and globally.

“This plan will complement a range of existing initiatives and strategies, including the Sustainable Health Review’s priority to foster a culture of innovation in the WA health system to deliver better patient care.”

Development of the blueprint follows the McGowan Government investment of $1.2 million in the creation of a medical technology, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals innovation hub to grow Western Australia’s life sciences sector and support local jobs.

According to AusBiotech, Western Australia experienced Australia’s biggest growth in the wider life sciences sector from 2017 to 2019 with a 50 per cent increase in the number of organisations operating here.

Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly said “Western Australia’s world-class health and medical innovation sector, combined with our state-of-the-art research facilities and health infrastructure, provide a fertile environment for innovation and industry growth in WA.

It is estimated more than 22,500 people in the State are employed in the sector, which includes food and agriculture in addition to health and medical life sciences.

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