University of Western Australia: New strategy shot in the arm for medical research and innovation

The University of Western Australia has welcomed the launch of WA’s first-ever Health and Medical Life Sciences Industry Strategy by the State Government.

The Strategy was launched by Deputy Premier the Hon Roger Cook MLA at a function celebrating Perth being named host city for both AusBiotech 2022, Australia’s major annual life sciences industry conference, and the Australia Biotech Invest & Partnering Conference 2022.

Professor Kevin Pfleger, UWA Director Biomedical Innovation, said the WA government had previously announced support for the health and medical life sciences sector through the establishment of the Future Health Research and Innovation Fund.

“It’s planned that after a ramping-up period from 2020-21 to 2022-23, approximately $40 million will be made available each year for health and medical research, innovation and commercialisation in WA through the fund,” Professor Pfleger said.

This latest industry strategy announcement includes $600,000 per annum from the Department of Health to ensure the WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub (WALSIH) continues its work to connect the innovation community, as well as build capacity and new skills to attract investment and foster commercialisation.

WALSIH is a three-way partnership between the WA Government, MTPConnect and UWA and consists of Director Stakeholder Engagement WA, Dr Tracey Wilkinson (MTPConnect), Director Biomedical Innovation Professor Pfleger and Stakeholder Engagement Coordinator WA, Rebekah Craggs (MTPConnect). MTPConnect is the national Industry Growth Centre for medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

Professor Pfleger said key focus areas of the strategy include strengthening the innovation ecosystem, facilitating commercialisation, developing skills and attracting talent, encouraging investment and supporting infrastructure for advanced manufacturing.

“It’s a privilege to work with MTPConnect and the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation to help facilitate biomedical innovation across our fantastic State,” he said.

“The connections Tracey and I have been able to make for people are already creating real impact, and we’re grateful to the McGowan Government for continuing to support us, and by extension this critically important sector.

“Through the Perth Biodesign portfolio of bootcamps, iPREP Biodesign industry placements, and medical technology and digital health courses, UWA is supporting the WA health and medical life sciences sector understand unmet health needs and develop solutions.

“This wouldn’t be possible without the incredible support of the whole ecosystem and the amazing contributions of so many industry professionals,” Professor Pfleger said.

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