Home' Australasian BioTechnology : Vol 28 No 2 Contents Australasian BioTechnology | Volume 28 | Number 2
well represented once again at the convention, with
the 350 Australian representatives making up one of
the single largest delegations, led by AusBiotech in
partnership with MTP Connect.
Innovation and supporting the international growth
of the sector were major focuses of the convention.
In this context, Australia’s role as a global leader was
clear, delivering research projects with attractive long-
term investment opportunities.
The presence of Australian political leaders at the
convention further supported our position on the
international stage and is testament to the ongoing
recognition of the sector’s contribution to the
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt took part in a
‘Fireside Chat’ titled ‘Australia: Island of Research and
Innovation’, as part of a focus on emerging opportunities
in global markets. Meanwhile, Queensland Premier
Annastacia Palaszczuk’s presence was specifically in
support of the ‘Discover Queensland innovation – a
biotechnology showcase’ event at the convention.
The convention covered myriad topics, from biofuels
and renewable chemicals, genome editing, and
infectious diseases and vaccines, to digital health,
business development and finance, and regulatory
The convention even set a Guinness World Record this
year for the Largest Business Partnering Event.
Life sciences sector gains reprieve on research and
AusBiotech has long advocated, on behalf of
members, the investment into Australia’s world-class
biotechnology research to support continued growth
in the sector. The commercialisation of research to
deliver world-class technologies has, to date, been
buoyed by the research and development (R&D) tax
incentive (RDTI). This is supported by the fact that
Australia has experienced a five per cent annual
growth in clinical trials since the RDTI program began.
AusBiotech was therefore firm in its opposition of
plans floated ahead of the May Federal Budget of a
proposed cap to the RDTI, which would jeopardise
the viability of the sector and stifle developments in
commercial products. The Federal Budget ultimately
revealed a comprehensive plan for ‘better targeting
the research and development tax incentive’. This
specifically included announcements such as:
clinical trials exempted from a $4-million cap for
the refundable component
no lifetime cap for the refunds
a coupling of the incentive to each company’s tax rate
a graduating reward premium for higher intensity
and an increased cap for larger companies.
AusBiotech is pleased that the government
recognises the critical role R&D expenditure plays in
the development of world-class technologies, and
in fostering the growth of a leading and innovative
Australian biotech sector.
An ongoing commitment from the government
is necessary to foster a strong Australian medical
technology, pharmaceutical (MTP) and life sciences
R&D sector; it also supports job creation and long-
term investment in projects, and attracts clinical trials
in the sector. At the time of going to print, the draft
legislation was under consultation.
Upcoming AusAg & Foodtech Summit
This September, the AusAg & Foodtech
Summit 2018 will be held at Rydges on Swanston,
Melbourne. The Summit brings together delegates
from the entire ecosystem of agtech and foodtech,
with the sole purpose of advancing commercialisation
opportunities in the sector that, ultimately, turn
science into business.
The cross-section of delegates present at the Summit
will allow relationships to be fostered across every
stage of the sector’s value chain. The Summit will
prove an invaluable event for:
investors, and agtech and foodtech investment
industry enablers, including incubators,
accelerators, service providers and government
technology creators, such as researchers,
developers and academics
customer and user groups seeking access to
innovation in agriculture and food science.
Keynote speakers and their topics of note include:
Sarah Nolet, Chief Executive Officer,
AgThentic: ‘The Australian Agrifood Tech
Professor German Spangenberg, Deputy
Secretary, Agriculture Research for Agriculture
Victoria: ‘Medical cannabis and government
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