Australia unveils A$1.5bn medical manufacturing plan

A side-view shot of a Biochemist using an Automated robotic blood sample testing system in a Hospital in Australia.

Australia’s National Reconstruction Fund will pour A$1.5 billion into medical manufacturing in a bid to leverage the country’s “world-leading” research.

In a joint statement on 15 April, health minister Mark Butler and science minister Ed Husic said that while “health and medical research in Australia is an outperforming sector”, not enough of that knowledge is resulting in medical manufacturing.

“Medical science investments can be high risk due to lengthy development times, high costs and commercialisation challenges,” the plan says. Research translation’s “valley of death”, where high levels of risk stymie commercial development, will be addressed by the fund, with private capital for such development lacking in Australia.

The plan is the first of seven that will come from the A$15bn National Reconstruction Fund. The others will focus on: value adding to resources; agriculture, forestry and fisheries; transport; renewables and low-emission technologies; defence; and “enabling capabilities”.