What are the Industry Growth Centres?
The Industry Growth Centres are the centrepiece of the Australian Government's new industry policy direction and part of the Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.
The aim of the Growth Centres is to lift competitiveness and productivity by focusing on areas of competitive strength. This will help Australia continue to deliver smart, high value and export focused industries.
Industry Growth Centres will be established in five growth sectors in which Australia already has a competitive advantage. These are:
- Advanced Manufacturing;
- Food and Agribusiness;
- Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals;
- Mining Equipment, Technology and Services; and
- Oil, Gas and Energy Resources.
Growth Centres addressing barriers
The Growth Centres will be tasked with looking at four broad themes:
- Identifying regulations that are unnecessary or over-burdensome for the key growth sectors and impede their ability to grow, and suggesting possible reforms;
- Improving engagement between research and industry, and within industry, to achieve stronger coordination and collaboration of research and stronger commercialisation outcomes in the key growth sectors;
- Improving the capability of the key growth sectors to engage with international markets and access global supply chains; and
- Improving management and workforce skills of the key growth sectors.
Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre
The medical technologies industry is supported by a strong skills base, stable economy and quality healthcare system. Despite this, the Australian medical technology industry lags behind its international counterparts in successfully commercialising research into profitable products and services.
The establishment of the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre will enable a national approach to key issues that are currently impeding the growth of our industry in Australia, in order to foster skills development, collaboration and importantly the commercialisation of research.
Within the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre, we can expect to see
- Development and implementation of a roadmap that identifies strengths and weaknesses to lift sector competitiveness;
- Provision of advice to Government on how to best reduce regulatory burden within the sector; and
- Development of annual industry knowledge priorities to help inform the research sector of industry needs and commercialisation opportunities.
Appointment of the Chair of the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre
Dr Bronwyn Evans, CEO of Standards Australia was announced as the Chair for the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre in March 2015.
Dr Evans will bring exceptional skills, understanding and experience to her new role. She has regulatory, industry, research and academic experience and a comprehensive understanding of all the components that are required to create a successful industry. With over 30 years experience as an engineering executive in the areas of medical devices, engineering education, power generation and standards creation, the MTAA is delighted with the appointment of Dr Evans to this significant role.
Dr Evans has worked for one of Australia’s most successful medical technology companies Cochlear, is a former Chair of Medical Technology Association Australia and was named Professional Engineer of the Year at the 2013 Engineering Excellence Awards.
MTAA supports the Growth Centre
Chief Executive, Susi Tegen recently had the opportunity to participate, along with other peak bodies and company representatives, in an Industry Forum organised by the Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane to discuss the development and scope of Industry Growth Centres. The forum was held in Melbourne to coincide with the meeting of the COAG Industry and Skills Council.
MTAA has also met with Dr Evans on a number of occasions since her appointment and will continue to lobby for initiatives that will help build a sustainable industry in Australia.
Dr Evans, with her recently appointed facilitator Jan Bowe from Bendelta, will commence consultations with interested parties to determine how the Growth Centre will operate and what initiatives it will undertake.
Participation can be through survey, webinar and a series of public forums to held around the country.