Home' Australasian BioTechnology : Vol 26 No 2 Contents News
Australasian BioTechnology | Volume 26 | Number 2 9
Worldview ranks Australia in top fve for third year
Scientific American Worldview: A Global Biotechnology Perspective has launched its eighth
annual scorecard at the BIO International Convention in San Francisco, confirming that
Australia has held its place in the top five countries for the third consecutive year.
The report said: 'It might be down under geographically, but Australia finished in the
scorecard's top five for the past three years. It also produced the 12th highest output on the
Nature Index 2015 Global'.
AusBiotech's attraction of industry-building conferences was noted in the report: 'Experts
around the world recognise the biotechnology opportunities in this country, as some events
demonstrate. In October 2016, for example, Australia will host BioFest 2016, which is billed
as "the largest-ever gathering in Australian life sciences, with three major conferences
coming together in one week, in one place, as one integrated network"'.
Australia ranked fifth this year, measured by IP protection, intensity (ranked #3), enterprise
support, workforce/education (ranked #4), productivity (ranked #2), policy and stability.
Australia also ranked in the global top three on four indicators:
• #3 Greatest public company revenues
• #2 Most public companies
• #2 Most public company employees
• #2 Largest biotech public markets.
20 Years of GM crops in Australia
This year marks 20 years of Australian farmers growing genetically modified (GM) crops.
CropLife says an independent report released by Graham Brookes, of United Kingdom-
based PG Economics, has outlined the significant economic and environmental benefits
experienced by farmers.
The 'Adoption and Impact of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops in Australia: 20 Years'
Experience' report provides insights into the reasons why many farmers in Australia have
adopted, and continue to increasingly use, crop biotechnology since it became commercially
available 20 years ago.
Matthew Cossey, CropLife Australia CEO, says the report provides evidence that 'state-
based moratoria on GM crop cultivation serve no purpose other than to stifle innovation and,
in some cases, act as a political football for people who blatantly refuse to acknowledge the
real-world benefits GM crops provide to farmers and the nation.
'GM cotton is credited as being the saviour of Australia's cotton industry, with Australian
farmers among the first in the world to plant GM cotton seeds in 1996... It's about time state
policy settings are supportive of Australian farmers and their right to choose to reap the well-
established benefits of GM crops.'
Business agreement signed by European and Australian life sciences organisations
At the 2016 BIO International Convention in San Francisco, six organisations representing
health clusters and life sciences in Australia and Europe signed a business development
agreement that aims to accelerate business results and assist small to medium-sized
enterprises to enter new markets.
Two Australian organisations---BioSA and Health Industries South Australia---signed on
behalf of more than 100 health industries companies and research bodies based locally in
South Australia. Other signatories included organisations from the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes
region in France, Bavaria in Germany, Catalonia in Spain and Piedmont in Italy.
Marco Baccanti, chief executive of Health Industries South Australia, said that the
cooperative effort is set to deliver real, practical results for companies and research
organisations in the region. South Australian companies will also benefit by creating networks
in European markets, a development that is highly significant to the growing health and life
sciences sector in Adelaide. Job creation and professional collaboration, as well as exports
and commercial opportunities are also foreseen for the South Australian sector following
the agreement. BioM CEO Professor Dr Horst Domdey also commented that a smoother
exchange of academic and clinical research will be made possible through the agreement.
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