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Speech to MTP Connect-Austrade Medtech Delegation

Singapore

27 September 2018

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Introduction

I am thrilled to be able to join the Good Science = Great Business program here in Singapore following my recent appointment as Australian Minister for Industry, Science and Technology.

The September festival really has been a celebration of the very best of science, innovation and business nurtured through the Australia-Singapore partnership. I sincerely thank the Australian High Commission and partner organisations for putting together this outstanding month-long program.

Not only have Australia’s top scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs and business leaders demonstrated our significant innovation and science capability, they have shown us the extraordinary opportunities and potential to work across sectors, nations and a whole region. Building on our Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, Australia and Singapore continue to work together to develop and commercialise world-class science and innovation that will drive industry, business and economic growth in both our countries and the ASEAN region.

Medtech trade mission

Today, I’m privileged to co-lead the Australian Medtech Trade Mission alongside Ms Sue Macleman, chair of MTP Connect – the Australian Government’s Medical Technology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Industry Growth Centre and to do what I can to champion the successes and potential of each of the members of the delegation joining us now. With the value of the global MTP sector tracking at almost $3 trillion by 2025, this mission is about ensuring that Australian medtech startups and scaleups are given every opportunity to showcase their capability, products and services and to connect with the rapidly growing medtech ecosystem in Singapore and ASEAN. We’re fortunate this afternoon to draw on the insights, knowhow and on-the-ground experience of our distinguished panel of medtech and health industry experts from both Singapore and Australia. Our panellists will navigate Singapore’s medtech environment for us, talk through the opportunities and challenges, help us understand the investment approaches and funding options, and provide a sense of what’s ahead in this fast-growing sector.

Australian Government support for MTP

From my perspective as the responsible Minister, I want to strongly emphasise the Australian Government’s support for the medtech, biotech and pharmaceuticals sectors as key drivers of economic growth.

Our growth centre, MTP Connect, is a targeted investment in accelerating the growth of these sectors by promoting commercialisation, cooperation and competition, and establishing Australia as a thriving MTP hub in the Asia-Pacific region. This investment is part of a comprehensive and integrated set of measures put in place by the Australian Government – including the R&D Tax Incentive, our Export Market Development Grants, our Accelerating Commercialisation and Entrepreneurs’ Programmes, and the broad-ranging services provided by Austrade.

These are about:

  • stimulating private investment in research and development,
  • helping businesses, researchers, and entrepreneurs to commercialise innovative products, processes and services, and to collaborate across borders,
  • making sure they get the best advice tailored to their needs, and opening up export and trade opportunities, and
  • supporting businesses in the international market arena.

Underpinning these measures is the central tenet that innovation is critical to economic growth, job creation, high living standards, and our health and wellbeing. These are a national priority for Australia, as I know they are for Singapore and other ASEAN nations.

Conclusion

Ladies and gentlemen, I am very much looking forward to this afternoon’s discussion. Our delegation is keen to hear the big issues in MTP—in Singapore and the region—explored and thrashed out by the experts. This is an invaluable forum for learning more about the MTP marketplace and how Australian companies can participate. On behalf of the Australian medtech delegation, I thank you for your generosity and time today.