Health and life sciences
Victoria is a life sciences hub for research capability, healthcare and digital health development. The sector encompasses technologies and innovations that are critical to medical research, therapeutics, medical devices, diagnostics, clinical practise, genomics, health data, digital health, dentistry and services.
- Two universities in the top 35 globally for life sciences and medicine
- An extensive hospital network
- A skilled and capable workforce
- Health and innovation precincts centred around Parkville, Clayton and Bundoora
Victoria has a track record for a lot of great ideas and world class research and innovations:
A global leader in bionic ear technology based on the work of Professor Graeme Clark from the Bionic Ear Institute at the University of Melbourne.
How can Breakthrough Victoria help?
When COVID hit, researchers and medical professionals in Australia and around the world collaborated, vaccines were developed and deployed and telehealth became a reality—all in record time.
We’ve seen what can happen when local innovation in the medtech and biotech sectors is applied to a massive health emergency like COVID:
- The Peter Doherty Institute was the first to grow the SARS-COV2 virus in cell culture outside of China
- Western Health and the University of Melbourne developed a protective isolation hood for health workers
- Novel home-based COVID-19 test kit similar to the RAT tests
Supporting the translation of Victoria’s health and life science discoveries will help innovations reach commercial scale and improve lives and health outcomes for people locally, nationally and globally.
There’s never been a more important time to support universities, research institutes and industry to rapidly respond to challenges.
We are supporting Victorian innovations along the development path, from early stage to maturity. Our investment encourages the development of home-grown ideas, research and companies to give Victorians early access to life-saving and life-enhancing treatments and technologies.
We are investing to develop infrastructure and support the ecosystem of entrepreneurs, labs, start-ups, mid-tier companies and education of nurses, doctors, health care workers, dentistry and in diagnostics.
Our health and life sciences investments:
Industry trends and outlook
Despite a volatile investment environment, the sector attracted record capital in 2021 thanks to the pandemic-driven focus on health.
We do well on the research side, but less well on the translation and commercialisation side.
The 2021 Global Innovation Index ranked Australia 15th out of 132 economies for innovation institutions and research, but we dropped to 33 in translation and commercialisation.
Too many innovations fall into the valley of death between the laboratory and the market or go offshore due to:
- A lack of early-stage capital.
- Risk-averse investors.
- Inadequate infrastructure to support development and manufacturing.
- And room for better entrepreneurial capability among academics and researchers.
With an ageing population and people living longer healthier lives, the need for continual improvement in health care outcomes will drive new innovations.