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Health and life sciences

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

Australian researchers have developed life saving discoveries, pioneered procedures, and been awarded Nobel Prizes for their extraordinary contributions to medicine. They continue to lead work in emerging fields of science, and champion the adoption of new technologies.

By bringing your talent to Australia, you’ll have access to large export markets, collaborative innovation hubs and research centres, and a world-class clinical trials ecosystem. 

Medical research pioneers are being drawn to Australia’s commitment to excellence. The Australian Government's A$20 billion Medical Research Future Fund is aiding the discovery and commercialisation of new medicines and technologies, and enabling innovative treatments and cures.

Home grown medical breakthroughs include the cervical cancer vaccine, the bionic ear, spray on skin and ultrasounds

A high-energy innovation ecosystem

Australia is a sought after location for the development of new healthcare products because our healthcare system is receptive to innovation, research is well funded, and a strong regulatory system protects intellectual property.

Our top-ranking universities and medical precincts foster innovation, with our medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors especially vibrant. 

We’re 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.

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.


Surgeons looking at an x-ray

A wealth of opportunities

MTPConnect, part of the Australian Government’s Industry Growth Centres Initiative, champions the growth of Australia’s medtech, biotech and pharmaceutical sectors. It delivers a number of initiatives of the Medical Research Future Fund, including:

  • The A$45 million BioMedTech Horizons Program, which drives discoveries that address key health challenges towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation, maximising entrepreneurship and idea potential
  • The A$22.3 million 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 Targeted Translation Research Accelerator which is improving the  prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Ideal location for clinical trials

We’re a trusted market for clinical research and trials, and maintain 50 trial networks and biobanks across the country. We have a multicultural population which local and overseas companies find ideal for the 1800 clinical trials they run here per year.

Ranked 5th in the world for intellectual property protection, we’re an attractive R&D hub for productive businesses.  

It’s also 28% cheaper to run trials here than in the US, even before tax incentives. It’s 60% cheaper after taking those incentives into account.

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

Areas of specialist medical expertise 

Our homegrown and imported medical and academic expertise means that in some areas, we’re already leading the world and directly contributing to best medical practice. 

Areas of global expertise include oncology, neurology, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, regenerative medicine, medical devices, tropical diseases and diagnostics. We’ve achieved top 6 global rankings in optometry, ophthalmology, paediatrics and reproductive medicine.

And we’re consolidating our leading position in developing biomedical technology as part of our advanced manufacturing capability.

Human brain scan in a neurology clinic - stock photo

Fast facts

  • Gardasil and Relenza both developed in Australia
  • 15 Nobel prizes for Australian research scientists
  • 1278 companies across the sector
  • Companies on the ASX valued at A$180 billion in 2019
  • Australia’s 8th largest export sector
  • Sector contributed A$5.2 billion in GVA to the Australian economy in 2019
  • 30 medical health-focused incubators and accelerators