Springfield Founder congratulates State Government on initiative to enhance biomedical industry

Springfield City Group Chairman Maha Sinnathamby AM has congratulated the Queensland Government on its newly minted $1.84 billion flagship jobs fund designed to turbocharge the state’s medical manufacturing and development program.

“We certainly congratulate the Government for allocating $20 million from that fund to the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane to boost the state’s capability for scale-up manufacturing and development capacity,” Mr Sinnathamby said.

Mr Sinnathamby also revealed that talks were underway to bring together health service providers, researchers, investors and government stakeholders into a world-class Springfield ecosystem, to be known as the “Innovative Medicines Precinct”.

He said the precinct would help develop Queensland’s knowledge workers, grow new manufacturing capability and provide local jobs.

“The City of Springfield has innovation in its DNA,” Mr Sinnathamby said. “Health is one of our cornerstones and any upskilling of a human being is what I value most.

“Medical research will help improve the health of all Australians, not just people living in Springfield City, by potentially developing new medicines, treatments and devices.

“The new hub will be situated in Springfield’s Health City, a 52-hectare integrated health precinct which includes the Mater Private Hospital Springfield and the just-announced 174-bed million public hospital to be funded under a partnership between Mater Health Services and the Queensland Government to cater for the rapidly growing population in the region.

“We recognise the importance of creating an environment where young creative minds, and established researchers, can not only conduct their work, but then go on and commercialise their medical products without having to move,” Mr Sinnathamby said.

“For example, a company could come to us and say we need 2000 square metres to build or repurpose a building which will allow us to develop and manufacture their product – and we can do that because of the master-planned Springfield Health City.

“The city is an integrated space – creating a platform for economic stimulus and knowledge-based jobs growth – nurturing and attracting talent.”

The Innovative Medical Hub will be located in the area called the Health City, close to the Mater Hospital and the Education City that will be home to a number of universities. The advantage of the Springfield Innovative Medicine Precinct is that there will be a cluster of like-minded forward-looking companies in a location where they will have space to expand and close to support functions that they will need for sophisticated manufacturing.

Former Queensland Health Director-General for eight years, and former Chair of the Metro North HHS (the largest HHS in Australia with Royal Brisbane as one of its hospitals), Emeritus Professor Rob Stable – now Chair of Springfield Health City – said SCG was in talks with “half a dozen” Australian companies to set up shop in the new precinct.

Prof Stable said announcements regarding new tenants could be forthcoming before the end of the year.

“It will be a setting where we have some of the world’s best minds, working in this great space,” he said.

“These companies obviously prefer the opportunity to develop their products in a purpose-built precinct, without having to go off-shore.

“It makes sense, especially with this COVID pandemic, to retain the research, the products and ultimately the jobs being created in Australia – by creating this world-class ecosystem.

“You can use grants to attract and keep researchers; however, you also need a physical space that attracts talent.

“Ultimately, what we have in Springfield truly sets us apart – the right infrastructure to combine the lifestyle with the work/research opportunities,” he said.