MTPConnect reports strong growth in Australia’s Medtech, Biotech and Pharmaceutical sector


  • 09 Feb 2018

MTPConnect – the Medical Technology, Biotechnology, and Pharmaceutical (MTP) Industry Growth Centre – has released new sector metrics that show jobs supported by the MTP sector increased by 10% to 62,000 from 2015 to 2016, and that manufacturing exports are up by 30% to $5.2 billion. The new data, sourced by MTPConnect from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), highlights the progress the local MTP sector has made to maintain and extend its world-class standing in recent years.

MTPConnect has released the updated suite of metrics, building on those reported in its Sector Competiveness Plan, to provide a benchmark for the ongoing measurement and tracking of the performance of the Australian MTP sector. The Federal Government has identified the MTP sector as one of six priority areas where Australia could lead the world, and MTPConnect exists to help the local sector seize more commercialisation opportunities and accelerate its rate of growth.

Jobs in the MTP sector are at the highest level since 2011, with 62,109 jobs (17,700 industry jobs in medtech, 21,700 industry jobs in pharma, and 22,650 research jobs, with 15,000 of those in MRIs and c.7,650 supported by NHMRC grants) supported by the MTP sector in 2016, showing growth of 5,720 industry employees since 2015. Furthermore, manufacturing exports are on the rise, with strong growth reaching $5.2 billion in 2016, following declines between 2012 and 2015. The combined MTP sector is the 10th largest export by value in Australia, maintaining its position in the top ten.

Sue MacLeman, Managing Director and CEO of MTPConnect, said the new data demonstrates that the Australian MTP sector is already starting to drive increasing growth in Australia.

“We’re delighted to share new data that reveals the immense positive impact the MTP sector makes to Australia’s healthcare and economic future. The MTP sector today continues to be a significant contributor to the Australian economy, creating new jobs and increasing export revenue. This growth is set to continue, especially with the recent rapid growth in medicinal and pharmaceutical product exports, combined with steady growth in medical device exports.

“Clinical trials are at the fore, with approximately 1,360 new clinical trials starting in Australia in 2015, driven by the quality of our research infrastructure and output, our medical experts, and financial incentives that support cost competitiveness such as the R&D Tax Incentive. The Medical Research Future Fund and Biomedical Translation Fund will result in significant increases in grants, co-investment funds and capital equity from 2017, with c. $250 million in funds already allocated.

“It is an honour to work with such an important and mobilised sector that has seized opportunities to collaboratively and creatively address national sector gaps and constraints. We look forward to driving further discussion and focus in the sector on priority areas shaping the future in which Australia can excel, such as precision medicine, 3D printing and digital health evolution.”

MTPConnect sits at the nexus of the sector, driving collaboration, acting as an independent voice for change and funding big, bold ideas to accelerate growth and drive greater commercialisation opportunities. The updated metrics build on the significant work that has been undertaken by MTPConnect since 2016.

Achievements from MTPConnect to date include:

Driving collaboration

MTPConnect has signed MoUs and delivered joint programs with eight Australian industry organisations, including AusBiotech, Medicines Australia and the MTAA; with CSIRO and eight health related CRCs; and international organisations including Medical Alley during The MedTech Conference in San Jose, and the Confederation of Indian Industry during Australia Business Week in India.

Acting as an independent voice

MTPConnect has worked closely with the sector and government on regulatory reform, identifying and advising on key sector issues and consultations with Federal Government including the Intellectual Property Review, R&D Tax Incentive, medicinal cannabis, 3D printing, precision medicine, digital health, regenerative medicine and the Sansom Review, providing insight and perspectives from the sector and driving for more competitive policy initiatives.

MTPConnect has also worked collaboratively to promote the Australian sector on the world stage including: at BIO International 2017; the Chief Scientist’s Innovation Delegation to Europe; the AusBiotech-led and MTPConnect Project Funded Asian Investment Series in China; taking part in missions to BIO Korea and Japan with focuses on regenerative medicine and clinical trials; and hosting an inbound delegation of Chinese medical technology investors.

Promoting Australia’s capabilities and strengths in Asia will be a focus in 2018, with the Indonesia-Australia Digital Health Forum in Jakarta, the Australia-China Biotech Invest and Asia Investment Series with AusBiotech in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and Australian Business Week in China.

Funding big, bold ideas

MTPConnect’s investment of $15.16 million across 35 projects touch all parts of the MTP sector, collaborative initiatives with over 200 consortium members and driving change aligned with each of MTPConnect’s seven sector growth priorities. Since March 2017, Accelerating Australia has been working to advance the Australian early stage biomedical innovation ecosystem, and has trained over 120 individuals in 2017, 110 in Australia and 10 at the SPARK training program in Japan, where Australia was the strongest delegation to attend.

For more information, please visit: www.mtpconnect.org.au/annualhighlights