VIPs converge at Future of Health Seminar

VIPs converge at the Life Sciences Queensland and Springfield City Group second Future of Health Series to push biotechnology and manufacturing capability in Australia.

Almost 100 dynamic stakeholders with a passion and ambition to build biotechnology and manufacturing capability met last week to address how biomanufacturing can grow across the sector.

In the second Future of Health Series, Life Sciences Queensland and Springfield City Group partnered together to create a collaborative environment where experts were able to meet face-to-face to discuss biotechnology, medical technology, and manufacturing in Springfield.  Presentations sparked conversations and a continuing theme that emerged for scientists, entrepreneurs, and community stakeholders was how new opportunities, partnerships and decisions will shape the sector for years to come.

The Honourable Milton Dick, MP, Member for Oxley, gave the keynote address. In his presentation he stated that the future of medical technology and advancement sits with the smartest minds and partnerships with locations like Greater Springfield providing a place where innovative health technologies and manufacturing can grow. “There is extraordinary value in medical technology for the future of health,” he stated. “Medtech is saving lives, but it is also a key economic driver for our country.”

Life Sciences Queensland, CEO, Clare Blain, concurs and added organisationally they understand the key role innovation plays in the life sciences.   “LSQ is the amplifier of the Queensland life sciences ecosystem,” stated Clare, “Our focus is to bring the best and brightest minds together to collaborate and rise to world challenges.”

Mark Kendall, Founder and CEO of WearOptimo, and Australian grown Medtech company, provided an opportunity to address how Australia’s biotechnology industry is transforming health. He noted that a key element to a robust biotechnology industry is one where research and development or the ‘idea phase’ can lead to production without leaving the country. “Ideally,” Mark said, “Australia should have the capability to do both.”

Dr Kym Baker, General Manager of Patheon within Thermo Fisher Scientific stated that advancements have already been made to manufacture modern miracles that lead to improvements in immunotherapies, vaccines, and personalised treatments. “We have great potential in Queensland,” Dr Baker noted. “Don’t underestimate our capability.”

Emeritus Fellow at QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Springfield City Group Advisor, Professor Frank Gannon, provided a broad picture of experiences in biotechnology and manufacturing from all over the world. “What can we learn from these international experiences and then apply to our own biotech ecosystems?” he posed to the audience.  Among the common international themes identified, Professor Gannon highlighted that, “success comes from foresight,” and that an appropriate environment, specialised talent, and communication must be right if biomanufacturing is to gain a foothold.

The Springfield Group believes BioPark Australia is this type of environment.  Nestled within the fast-emerging city of Greater Springfield, the BioPark is well-placed as a location for biotechnology and manufacturing to thrive.