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Health and life sciences

Australia’s high-quality and affordable healthcare system is envied around the world. It’s underpinned by a world-class medical research sector, which is nurtured in our universities and hospitals, medical research institutes and life science companies.

Health and life sciences is our 8th largest export sector, worth A$8.5 billion.

A culture of innovation

Australia is a sought after hub for cutting edge life-saving medicines and procedures.  Medical research pioneers are drawn to a culture of innovation backed by generous funding and incentives. Our history of producing Nobel Prize- winning research and high tech solutions are making a significant contribution to global medical scientific discovery.

Check out the new patent box for Australian medical and biotech technologies. Companies will pay a concessional corporate tax rate of 17% on income from Australian medical and biotech patents.

When you bring your talent to Australia, you’ll have access to collaborative innovation hubs and research centres, and a world-class clinical trials ecosystem. 

Add to this strong intellectual property protection, an ideal test bed market for clinical trials and access to large export markets, and you have an ideal location for the development of new diagnostics, devices and therapies.

Life sciences research in Australia 

  • ranked 8th globally overall
  • ranked top 6 in optometry, ophthalmology, paediatrics and reproductive medicine

A high-energy ecosystem

Our top-ranking universities and academics are global leaders in clinical medicine and pioneers in many areas of health and life sciences research. We’re breaking new ground in specialist fields such as oncology, neurology, regenerative medicine, medical devices, tropical diseases, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and diagnostics.

Australia is home to several comprehensive cancer care centres that are pioneering genome research. We also boast world-leading immunology facilities with the infrastructure and expertise to develop viral vectors and companion diagnostics. 

Our medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors work lockstep with industry, entrepreneurs and  academics. Collaborating with an Australian university can give you access to some of the world’s best minds and a share of the impressive A$10.6 billion in revenue generated via partnerships with Australian universities each year.

We’re also world leaders in electronic medical records, and big data and artificial intelligence are swiftly being adopted by the Australian healthcare sector, with fantastic opportunities to access and create data-driven health services and products.

 

Surgeons looking at an x-ray

Australia’s national science agency CSIRO is leading new strategies to prevent and minimise the impact of diseases through the delivery of evidence-based products, programs and services, including its molecular diagnostic solutions and precision health and medicine research. 

It’s also an internationally renowned catalyst for advanced manufacturing, connecting industry to global supply chains. Its work with industry on research into 3D printing has led to world-firsts in printing human body parts. It even invented Wi-Fi, the empowering technology at the heart of the digital health revolution. 

CSIRO is in the top 1% of the world’s scientific institutions in 15 of 22 research fields.

Podcast: Bloomberg interview with Professor Sharon Lewin

Bloomberg interview with Professor Sharon Lewin, Director, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Audio file

Ideal location for clinical trials

Australia’s clinical trial capabilities, skilled workforce and specialised infrastructure are second to none. With some 50 trial networks and biobanks across the country, Australia started 1880 clinical trials in 2019 with 95,000 Australian participating. Conduct your clinical trials in Australia and you benefit from:

  • streamlined regulatory and ethics approval
  • a multicultural population ideal for trials 
  • high-quality data that is recognised around the world
  • cost effectiveness – it’s 28% cheaper to run trials here than in the US. 

It’s no wonder that our sophisticated clinical trials environment draws both local and international participants, with nearly one-third of industry-led trials in Australia led by multinational companies. 

 

Scientist removing a sample out of a petri dish using a pipette

#5

Australia ranks fifth on the International Property Rights Index 201

#2

Australia has the 2nd largest biotech public market

500

500 medtech companies in Australia

Top 20

Australia is in the global top 20 for medtech patents

Grants, incentives and support

  • MTPConnect, part of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative, champions the growth of Australia’s medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical (MTP) sectors. MTPConnect raises awareness, fosters collaboration and competition, and aggregates and shares existing knowledge with the broader MTP sectors. In addition, it delivers several Medical Research Future Fund activities
  • The Australian Government's A$20 billion Medical Research Future Fund aims to transform health and medical research and innovation to improve lives, build the economy and contribute to health system sustainability. Granting activities from the Medical Research Future Fund include:
    • the A$45 million MRFF BioMedTech Horizons, which drives discoveries that address key health challenges towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation, maximising entrepreneurship and idea potential
    • the A$22.3 million MRFF Biomedical Translation Bridge Program, which nurtures early-stage health and medical research to reach proof-of-concept with the potential to attract further capital and support
    • the A$47 million MRFF Targeted Translation Research Accelerator, which is improving the  prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Business.gov.au provides information, grants, services and support from across government to help businesses succeed.

 

Human brain scan in a neurology clinic - stock photo

Are you a talented individual working in health industries?

Get an idea of the kinds of skills and roles we’re looking for

We’re targeting exceptionally talented individuals who are leading ground breaking projects in medtech, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, medical research, disease management, and health IT. 

The following specialisations are intended to be used as a guide and are not an exhaustive list. The global talent profile provides examples of the calibre of individuals who may meet program requirements.

Specialisations

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • Biochemistry and cell biology 
  • Biostatistics
  • Biotechnology
  • Biomedicine and bioengineering
  • Cell and gene therapies - genomics
  • Clinical trials
  • Commercialisation experience in the health industry
  • Digital health 
  • Healthcare entrepreneurship
  • Health economics
  • Implantable and wearable devices (3D printed devices, bionics 
  • and prosthetics)
  • Infectious disease prevention
  • Medical devices
  • Medical physics
  • Microbiology and immunology
  • Nanotechnology and genomics 
  • Neuroscience and neurology
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Precision medicine
  • Point of care diagnostics
  • Regenerative medicine

Global talent profile

Pharmaceutical executive and founder of a multi-million dollar global company dedicated to accelerating clinical trial processes by utilising a novel e-platform to track patient data. 

Renowned infectious diseases researcher and practitioner of international repute.  

Senior auditory neuroscientist with a track record of research in health technologies, leading the research and design of cochlear implant technology.

Biomedical engineer with expertise in medical application of polymers, biomaterials and delivery platforms.

The following experience or professions would not usually meet the parameters of the program:

  • General practitioners
  • Retail pharmacists
  • Dentists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Nurses
  • Veterinarians 
  • Aged care workers

Australia’s health and life sciences ecosystems

Recent arrivals

Zachary M Smith - Medtech
Photo of Dr Fatemeh Karimi
Photo of Dr Anukriti Mathur
Photo of Dr Mee Wa Wong
Photo of Dr Beatriz Martin Monzon
Photo of Sebastien Naze