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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Medicines Australia and AusBiotech engage in NSW government’s ‘reset’ initiative

Health Industry Hub | March 18, 2024 |

Pharma News: In response to the New South Wales government’s call for public consultation, Medicines Australia and AusBiotech have engaged with the government on the Investment NSW Innovation Blueprint. This initiative aims to “reset” the state’s relationship with innovators after a difficult year that included the former Perrottet government secretly gutting the Future Economy Fund and the Minns government halted several grant programs.

The discussion paper, unveiled by Investment NSW in February, marks a pivotal moment in the state’s innovation strategy.

Minister for Innovation, Science, and Technology, Anoulack Chanthivong, stated “During consultation on the government’s Innovation Blueprint, I’ve heard directly from stakeholders that there are big barriers for businesses looking to commercialise their great ideas, and we want to make it easier.

“NSW should be the most attractive place in the nation for businesses aligned with areas including medical and life sciences, clean energy and waste, agriculture and advanced manufacturing, to make new product developments and achieve productivity gains.”

At a recent roundtable, Tham Vo, Senior Manager of Policy at Medicines Australia, articulated strategies to enhance investment attractiveness and foster public-private partnerships within NSW. Mr Vo highlighted the importance of streamlining processes for regulation and reimbursement of novel health technologies and the implementation of the national one stop shop for clinical trials.

AusBiotech has also rallied its members to engage actively in the consultation process via a virtual discussion forum on 19 March.

“To support the NSW Government’s understanding of the innovation ecosystem’s priorities, challenges and opportunities, AusBiotech’s AusBioNSW initiative intends to submit a response reflecting the capabilities present and priorities of the NSW life sciences sector. We support the driving of initiatives to attract investment and grow innovation and trade in NSW,” the organisation stated.

Shadow Minister for Jobs, Industry, Innovation, Science and Technology, Mark Coure said that since Labor came to power, the industry and innovation sectors have stalled under a Minister who still has his training wheels on.

“We do not need more reviews. Entrepreneurs are demonstrating their frustration with their feet as they move interstate to jurisdictions who are offering real direction and vision, backed in with significant investment by government. Under the former Liberal and Nationals Government, we saw a 325% increase of innovators setting up shop in NSW. Now our state’s proud track record as an industry leader in this space, is at risk,” he said.

Jacqui Munro, Member of the Legislative Council, said “The Minister must be upfront with entrepreneurs who require a reliable partner in government. Whether it’s the time taken to determine grant applications or when any industry strategy will be delivered, we have all been left in the dark. It’s simply not good enough for NSW to be put in this position.”

Minister Chanthivong has already spearheaded an ideas summit at NSW Parliament House, gathering over 75 leaders from diverse sectors to contribute to the blueprint’s design, with plans for further regional and sector-specific roundtables in the pipeline.

The discussion paper poses critical questions to respondents, urging them to focus on collaborative strategies and identify barriers hindering innovation. Minister Chanthivong stressed the need to simplify processes for businesses seeking to commercialise ideas, acknowledging the challenges they face.

Furthermore, the consultation extends to exploring synergies with federal innovation programs, aiming to optimise resources and maximise impact. Options on the table include addressing investment gaps, supporting businesses in global markets, and implementing mission-based initiatives.

Submissions to the consultation will close on 25 March, 2024.

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