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Victoria unveils AU$55m biotechnology plan

The state of Victoria released an AU$55 million plan to support biotechnology on 17 October.

According to the state’s technology minister, Gordon Rich-Phillips, the plan comes under Victoria’s Technology Plan for the Future, a state government initiative aimed at supporting technology and driving productivity growth.

“The biotechnology plan will support the sector in overcoming current and future challenges, while promoting biotechnology-enabled innovation more broadly across Victorian industry and generating opportunities from technology convergence,” said Rich-Phillips.

“For the first time, the Government will establish a number of dedicated programmes that will directly support the biotechnology sector and encourage the uptake of biotechnology,” he said.

The plan covers two action areas: capability development, which involves supporting the development of the talent pool, capitalising on Victoria’s R&D base, and pursuing international trade and investment opportunities; and biotech-enabled innovation, which focuses on demand-driven product development, uptake programmes, demonstration projects and regulatory reform.

A key component of the plan is an AU$15m Health Market Validation Program (Health MVP), a competitive grants programme to encourage innovation in Victoria’s healthcare system.

The plan also encompasses a Technology Trade and International Partnering Program, which will provide grants for Victorian companies to attend overseas biotechnology conferences and trade events.

The release of the biotech plan coincided with the start of the AusBiotech conference in Adelaide, the industry’s foremost biotechnology conference for the Asia Pacific region.