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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 one of our largest export sectors, and was worth A$5.6 billion in 2021.

In grants and incentives

Australia offers nearly A$70 billion in grants, incentives and funding pools to Australian-based companies across priority sectors.

Source: Accenture

A culture of innovation

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

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 testbed 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 in 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. The Australian Government is now giving a boost to university–industry partnerships with the A$2.2 billion University Research Commercialisation Package.


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. Its expertise includes 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 around 50 clinical trial networks and as many biobanks across the country, 1880 clinical trials were started in 2019, with 95,000 Australians 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 – once tax incentives are taken into account, it’s 60% cheaper to run trials here than in the US.

Australia’s legal system also provides robust protection for intellectual property, encourages innovation and safeguards investment. Our IP regime consistently ranks in the top tier of international IP systems and is aligned with international standards.

It’s no wonder that our sophisticated clinical trials environment draws both local and overseas participants, with nearly one-third of industry-led trials in Australia led by multinational companies. In 2019 alone, more than $1.4 billion was spent on clinical trials in Australia.


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

Grants, incentives and support

  • Australia'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$450 million Medical Research Commercialisation initiative supports innovative early-stage health and medical research in Australia. It will also help researchers to transform their ideas into life-saving medicines, devices and treatments to help future patients
    • the A$47 million MRFF Targeted Translation Research Accelerator, which is improving the prevention and treatment of diabetes and cardiovascular disease
    • The Clinical Trials Activity initiative will provide $750 million over 10 years from 2022–23 to help Australian researchers and patients test new treatments through national and international clinical trials.
  • 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. It also delivers several strategic funding initiatives on behalf of the Medical Research Future Fund.
  • The National Health and Medical Research Council supports investigator‑led research activities across all areas of health and medicine, providing grants in excess of A$850 million per annum.
  • The Australian Research Council funds fundamental and applied research across a broad range of fields that contribute to advancements in health and medical science, (e.g., AI, engineering, and the development of biomaterials), and brokers partnerships between researchers and industry, government, community organisations and the international community.
  • The Biomedical Translation Fund is A$501 million co-investment program helping translate biomedical discoveries into products and services.
  • Australia’s A$1.5 billion Modern Manufacturing Strategy has a dedicated stream for medical products.
  • The Research and Development Tax Incentive encourages businesses to invest more in R&D through tax offsets.
  • The Australian Tax Office’s New Investment Engagement Service gives tailored guidance on tax issues to businesses planning significant new investments in Australia.
  • provides information, grants, services and support from across government to help businesses succeed.

The MTPConnect podcast series connects with the people, projects and issues behind Australia’s growing medical technologies, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals sector. Since its launch in February 2019, the podcast has featured a range of guests including notable scientists, physicians, entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Case studies


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.


  • 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 Eve Purdy in a park
Photo of Dr Syed Faraz Ahmed sitting at a table in a meeting room
photo of Lamia Harper
photo of mary petrone

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