2018 Budget to deliver positive impact for Australian MTP sector


  • 09 May 2018

MTPConnect – the Australian Government Industry Growth Centre for the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector – has welcomed the Australian Government’s 2018 Budget, with a targeted focus on economic growth to drive ongoing innovation, research translation, industry-research collaboration and commercialisation in the Australian MTP sector. In addition, the announcement of significant health initiatives will benefit Australian patients through access to medical innovations.

The Government has delivered investment of $2.4 billion in growing Australia’s research science capability, and an additional $1.9 billion in Australia’s national research infrastructure over 12 years to ensure that we have the tools to develop and commercialise first-to-market products. Allocation of $20 million is set to help local and regional SMEs work together in ‘Export Hubs’. These will enable access to export markets and global supply chains, working directly with the Industry Growth Centres to deliver high impact in international markets.

A critical announcement for the MTP sector relates to the reforms of the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI). These reforms are designed to encourage additional investment in R&D and ensure RDTI long-term sustainability. The exclusion of clinical trials from the $4 million annual cap on RDTI cash refunds illustrates the value of clinical trials for both economic growth and health outcomes. The impact for R&D intensive companies is also recognised with an intensity component and increased cap to $150 million. These measures are expected to increase R&D activity undertaken in Australia. MTPConnect welcomes Government understanding and recognition of the value of clinical trials.

MTPConnect CEO Sue MacLeman believes that the Budget has provided welcome reforms and support for the MTP sector.

“MTPConnect is delighted that Budget 2018 delivers for the Australian medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector. Minister Cash engaged with us on many of the initiatives delivered, such as reforms to the R&D Tax Incentive including a cap exemption for clinical trials and no lifetime cap – reforms that have already been widely celebrated by the sector.”

“We also welcome the significant health initiatives including the $1.3 billion National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan, including international clinical trials collaborations, a genomics mission, a chronic condition accelerator program, and industry-research collaboration programs. In addition to jobs creation, this plan will be pivotal in driving growth for SMEs, and accelerating discoveries towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation in the MTP sector.”

“We are excited about the positive impact for patients and the Australian public into the future. We will work closely with both the Australian Government and MTP sector to support the rollout of all of these positive programs that are sure to help us cement our world-leading place on the international stage.”

Dr Bronwyn Evans, Chair of MTPConnect, said: “The Australian Government has recognised the guidance, support and real impact that the Industry Growth Centres have provided in their respective sectors. MTPConnect has established itself as an important part of the MTP innovation ecosystem in Australia, working closely with industry associations, research institutes, companies and government. The delivery of two years of additional funding for the Growth Centre Initiative will help to develop a sustainable future for both the sector and the organisation.”