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Bio Technology : July 2009
MESSAGE FROM THE VICTORIAN MINISTER FOR INNOVATION Melbourne, the life sciences research capital of Australia, is proud to be again hosting Australia’s premier biotechnology event, AusBiotech 2009, to be held this year at Melbourne’s brand new six-star Exhibition and Convention Centre. In the current difficult global financial climate, the life sciences sector faces challenges but it also has much to be proud of and there are many success stories to be shared at AusBiotech 2009. Gavin Jennings Minister for Innovation State Government of Victoria The innovative biotechnology sector in Victoria continues to develop strongly and create jobs despite the difficult financial climate. Frontline life-science firms are holding their own and many have achieved profitability. For example, a recent report showed that net profits for the Victorian biotechnology sector exceeded $593 million in 2007–2008. There were 48 Victorian life science companies listed last year on the Australian Stock Exchange with a combined market capitalisation of approximately $22.7 billion—a 5% increase from 2007. Ten of the top 20 biotech companies on the Australian Stock Exchange are based in Victoria, including one of the world’s top ten. Victorian life-science companies achieved sales of more than $7.2 billion in 2007–2008 and export sales of around $320 million, a great result rewarding ingenuity and enterprise. The Victorian State Government is committed to growing the biotechnology sector, and is taking action to boost our world-class science and technology base to generate jobs and new economic and social benefits. As a consequence, we believe Victoria’s reputation as a leading and highly supportive biotech location continues to grow nationally and internationally. Our vision is to work together—research organisations, industry and government—to establish mature, sustainable and flourishing biotech companies, characterised by commercial success, a commitment to skills development and a willingness and capacity to reinvest in the sector. We have identified four key objectives to help us achieve this vision: • Creating a competitive business environment, through appropriate regulatory frameworks and improved access to investment capital; • Delivering improved access to high quality and internationally competitive infrastructure; • Building a bioeconomy, by integrating the bio-medical, agri-food, industrial and environmental sectors and promoting biotechnology responses to climate change; and • Making Victoria a preferred place to live, work and learn for the global biotech sector, through a skilled workforce and strong public support. We are working with industry and the research community in a powerful partnership to deliver real outcomes, which means investment and jobs for Victoria, to continue to build a successful, sustainable sector. In today’s economic climate, Victoria continues to reinforce its status as a top global biotechnology location and a leading centre of excellence for biotechnology in the Asia–Pacific region. We wish you well for a highly productive and enjoyable AusBiotech 2009 and look forward to welcoming you back to Melbourne many times in the future.