BIO2023 - Do It All in Australia!

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22 June 2023

With the BIO conference done and dusted for another year, we take a moment to reflect on a few of the activities in Boston organised to showcase Australia’s fast-growing life sciences sector to drive collaborations, partnerships and investments.

And with a powerful #TeamAustralia focus and a 430-strong delegation from Australia, BIO2023 was literally the biggest and best to date!

“This year, Team Australia really got down to business at BIO! Australia is one of the top 10 countries in the world for contributions to life sciences research and with 2,600 life sciences organisations employing 264,000 people and a world class reputation for early-stage clinical trials, we are driving innovations in health that are being noticed,” said MTPConnect CEO Stuart Dignam.

“It was great to coordinate our efforts working closely with Austrade, CSIRO, the governments of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, Western Australia and South Australia and AusBiotech to make this happen.

While the delegation featured senior leaders including Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley, Queensland Deputy Premier, Hon Dr Steven Miles MP and South Australia’s Minister for Trade and Investment, Hon Nick Champion MP, it also saw hundreds of Australian companies, entrepreneurs and researchers descend on Boston – and international investors and partners could hardly miss us,” said Mr Dignam.

Australian Showcase Symposium for International Guests

The Sunday before the convention began, MTPConnect in partnership with Austrade kicked off a symposium 'Accelerating Australian Innovation - Bench to Bedside' with hundreds of international guests. Our chair, Hon Jaala Pulford hosted the event and led a fascinating fireside chat with the Chief Scientist, Dr Foley, Sanofi's Jean-François Toussaint, Invest Vancouver's Linda Buchanan and Vaxxas CEO David Hoey on making international connections for business success.

Guests from around the world were treated to a series of panels focusing on Australia's areas of global excellence - from health and medical research, RNA and advanced therapies, to early-stage clinical trials expertise, and Australia's globally attractive investment environment.

Thanks to the outstanding group of biotech leaders who took part in this important forum - Bellberry's Kylie Sproston, Southern Star Research's David Lloyd, Microba Life Sciences’ Trent Munro, St Vincent's Health Australia's Dr Megan Robertson, Xeris Pharmaceuticals’ Michele Yelmene, IP Group Australia's Siro Perez, Argenica Therapeutics Dr Liz Dallimore, Acclime USA's Stewart Walker. And a round of applause to our panel moderators CSIRO's Erica Kneipp and Austrade's Professor Regina Crameri.

To wrap up the symposium, we were fortunate to have Biotechnology Innovation Organization's Dave Thomas, VP of Industry Research, welcome the Australian delegation, giving a high-level overview of business partnering trends, R&D and deal-making pace in Asia Pac and globally.

Welcome from Hon Dr Kevin Rudd 

Then it was time to bring together #TeamAustralia's biotech leaders and international guests at our Australian Global Networking and Business Reception where Australia's Ambassador to the US, Hon Dr Kevin Rudd AC, officially welcomed the group.

We were honoured with a keynote from Dr Foley who reminded us of the opportunity to reignite relationships at BIO and drive innovation through collaboration, and of the Australian government’s commitment to a strong and dynamic biotech sector.

Women in Life Sciences

The next day, MTPConnect held the inaugural 'Australian Women in Life Sciences Leadership - a Global Perspective' seminar.

What better excuse than #BIO2023 in Boston to gather women founders, CEOs, board executives and managers to discuss the opportunities and challenges faced by women in the biotech industry in a changing global market. We heard inspiring stories, insights and advice from trailblazing leaders including Australia's Consul General in New York Heather Ridout, Dr Foley, Sanofi's Dr Iris Depaz, California Life Sciences’ Sibylle Hauser, Central Pharmacy Logistics Australia's Rima Darwiche and Kristen Bridge from New Jersey-based Organon and Co.. We are extremely grateful to Sanofi, one of the world’s largest global healthcare companies, for supporting this event!

Hive of Activity at Australian Pavilion 

Once the convention kicked off on 6 June at the Boston Convention Centre, the unmissable Australian Pavilion was a hive of activity and MTPConnect was pleased to once again be a co-exhibitor with AusBiotech. The MTPConnect Podcast was there on the ground covering the stories behind #TeamAustralia delegates visiting Boston amidst some 20,000 biotech attendees from all around the world.

Through the podcast we caught up with a range of guests including Deputy Premier of Queensland Steven Miles, Dr Cathy Foley, CSIRO's Erica Kneipp, Dr Nina Webster from Dimerix Limited, Marnie Hughes-Warrington from the University of South Australia, Vaxxas’ David Hoey, Ruby Lin from Phage Australia at The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Mike Burfield from Bentleys R&D Incentives, Rima Darwiche from Central Pharmacy Logistics Australia, Clinials founder Maree Beare, Sanofi's Dr Iris Depaz and more. Look out for these special BIO episodes coming soon.

Sanofi's mRNA Centre of Excellence in Boston

Before leaving Boston, MTPConnect’s team met Sanofi’s team led by Global Head of Research and Development Vaccines Jean Francois Toussaint and toured Sanofi’s mRNA Centre of Excellence in Boston to hear more about the company’s R&D plans for the Translational Science Hub being set up in Queensland in partnership with Griffith University, the University of Queensland and the Queensland Government. The unique global research and development network will initially focus on the evaluation of a new generation of mRNA vaccines and the development of a world-first chlamydia vaccine.

MTPConnect’s team on the ground in Boston included Chair Hon Jaala Pulford, CEO Stuart Dignam, International Markets and Engagement Manager Tamlyn O'Connor, Director Innovation and Translation Adelaide Intermediary Program Stephanie Morris and Director Media and Communications Caroline Duell - who were working with Australian companies and international life science leaders, promoting Australia’s biotech capabilities at key events and in meetings.

Next year, #BIO2024 will be held in San Diego from 4-8 June 2024 – we hope to see you there.