28 June 2011
Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips has announced that the Victorian Government will establish a new advisory council for Victoria’s biotechnology sector.
Delivering on a Coalition Government election commitment in establishing the council, the 2011–12 Victorian Budget has provided $1.2 million over four years to operate the council.
Mr Rich-Phillips said, “The Victorian Biotechnology Advisory Council (VBAC) will provide advice to the Victorian Government on current and emerging opportunities and threats to the sector, as well as supporting the implementation of the Government’s biotechnology policy.”
The new council will also assist the Victorian Government in providing a coordinated approach to fostering innovation and promoting growth in Victoria’s life sciences industry.
Calling for expressions of interest in joining the council, Mr Rich-Phillips said, “Appointments to the council will be selected for their skills, experience and understanding of a range of issues relevant to biotechnology and life sciences.”
Victoria is internationally recognised as a leading bioscience location for medical research and development (particularly infectious diseases, cancer, neurosciences and stem cells), clinical trials and agricultural biotechnology. The state is home to more than 40 listed life science companies with a combined market capitalisation of around $24 billion, including companies such as Biota Holdings, CSL, Mesoblast and Starpharma.
The new council will ensure the biotechnology sector has a direct link to government to support and build on this success into the future.
“Innovation and technology are crucial to the Government’s efforts to increase productivity to improve the economic and social well-being of Victorians. The new Victorian Biotechnology Advisory Council will help the state Government work with businesses to support Victoria’s life sciences sector, an important knowledge-intensive industry that helps to deliver products with far-reaching health and well-being benefits.”
The council will report directly to the Minister for Technology, Gordon Rich-Phillips.
More information including the council’s terms of reference is available at www.biotechnology.vic.gov.au.
Applications close 25 July 2011.