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Lack of strategy hurts local R&D

WA does not have an innovation strategy and, according to TechStart Australia venture manager Marcus Christian, WA is the only State in Australia besides Tasmania without a biotechnology strategy. The State Government’s Office of Innovation is in the process of putting together an innovation strategy, which it will present to the Government next month.

p Andy Sierakowski

“Very good commercial outcomes stem from very good research and we need to have a strategic approach to research. We need to get the Government to understand how important that is for our future and we need to have a vision for that. We may achieve a couple of new centres of excellence in one or two years but if we really want the State to grow we need a 10-year plan.”

p Bruce Hobbs

“In this office that I now head up we are trying to put together a strategy that we will put to the Premier’s Science Council on the second of May and we have had meetings with a lot of people in this room already to try and bring that together.

“The innovative end of the spectrum is still a mystery to me.”

p  Ian Murchison

“I would be a strong critic of our State Government and the Department of Industry. I’ve been banging away at getting an investment ready program up, which the Queensland Government has done and is recognised as a leader in that area.

“When we set up foundations we were the only one here with vested institutional monies. We still are.

“There were none in Queensland, there are now three and they’ve done 138 investments and it’s largely a result of the investor-ready program the Queensland Government put in there to bring forward these companies. They fund the Australian Venture Capital conference each year and they put $100,000 toward it. The conditions are that the conference has to put a half a day aside to all of the Queensland companies to come and pitch to the VC.”

p Marcus Christian

“I’ve just come back from the Australian Biotech Summit in Sydney and I think Bruce has mentioned something very important that WA is not doing. That is, WA is the only State in Australia besides Tasmania that does not have a biotech strategy.

“I think if we are going to make this transition from science to commercialisation we need a strategy. We need to know how to do it and I was quite disappointed that WA was the only State that was not represented there.

“There was a common theme among all States at the conference that there is a lack of connection between the universities and the industry.

“All the States have a strategy and they are all throwing bucket loads of money at research and they still find it’s difficult to connect.”

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