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Bio Technology : July 2009
AusBioSTATES Queensland The first AusBiotech Ernst & Young Breakfast event for 2009 had a distinct political flavour. Held during the recent state election, the event attracted more than 70 guests to hear the (then) Minister for Education the Hon Rod Welford and David Gibson, Shadow Minister for Sustainable Environment, Climate Change and Clean Energy speak of their party’s plans for the biotechnology sector. More recently, an executive briefing on ‘Collaboration in Uncertain Times’ was held at the offices of McCullough Robertson Lawyers. Chris Price, Vice President of Commercial Development at IMBCom and James Cameron, Senior Associate at McCullough Robertson discussed the tricks and traps in negotiating a collaboration agreement in an economically challenging environment. Other activities involved close interaction with the State Government. In April the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh, announced the Government’s intention to amalgamate the Queensland Biotechnology Industry Council (QBAC) into a single portfolio industries advisory forum. The Queensland Branch made a formal submission expressing its strong disappointment at the move, but will continue to work closely with the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation in highlighting the issues affecting our industry. By way of example, Queensland representatives of AusBiotech and AusMedtech have been working with Departmental representatives in analysing the findings of a survey of the Queensland medical devices industry (co-commissioned by the State Government and AusBiotech). The findings, along with a series of initiatives to address highlighted issues will be announced at an event in the coming months. For information of future Queensland-based activities and events, visit www.ausbiotech.org or contact Nicole Brackenridge at firstname.lastname@example.org Western Australia The biotechnology industry in WA is awaiting the new state government’s response to the Review of the Science, Innovation and Technology advisory bodies of the Western Australian Government being prepared for The Minister of Science and Innovation by the Centre for International Economics. Stakeholder consultation has taken place March through to May, with AusBiotech making a submission. Membership activity has increased through the “Energising WA BioTech” monthly breakfast series and has been rewarded with sponsorship from Minter Ellison for a special series of four (invitation only) CEO lunch events to be announced for the second half of 2009. Branch activities have also be directed towards stronger engagement with the new government through the appointment of Wayne Best as the new Chairman of the WA Branch of AusBiotech. Wayne is keen to develop a stronger voice for the biotech industry in WA through assertively growing the company membership in conjunction with a drive on student involvement in ABSA and the branch. The launch of the WA Student Excellence Awards by Chief Scientist Lyn Beazley was well received and an increased number of applications are expected. Last year’s WA nominee for the Award, Melissa Corbett, was a popular speaker at the launch detailing her experiences at the AusBiotech Conference in 2008. Branch Committees have also started to compile membership feedback on developing several proposals to government including: bio prospecting legislation, changes to venture capital legislation, and resource sharing. The second half of 2009 is building up to be an exciting time for local members. For further information contact: Bart Houwen Industry Development Officer WA Ph: 08 9437 5100 or 0417 115 210 or email: email@example.com L–R: Former Minister for Education the Hon Rod Welford, Winna Brown, Partner, Assurance & Advisory Business Services at Ernst & Young, David Gibson MP, Shadow Minister for Sustainable Environment, Climate Change and Clean Energy and Trevor Neville, Tranzition Recruitment and Chair of AusBiotech’s Queensland Branch Volume 19 • Number 2 • July 2009 Australasian BioTechnology 59