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State plans biotech industry future

THE state government has announced its intention to create biotechnology industry clusters and technology parks, as well as providing support for clinical trials and the development of biotherapeutics and agricultural biotechnology. But it’s a case of better late than never for the state opposition, with biotechnology spokesman Barry House saying the government is five years behind other states. The state government plan advocates a code of conduct for the local biotechnology industry, programs to develop and maintain biotechnology skills in WA and a study into the economic potential of bio-prospecting. Current investment in the sector amounts to more than $80 million, primarily in medical and agricultural research. This figure included $50 million for two new biomedical and health research facilities at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and the planned Fiona Stanley Hospital, and $21 million to the Western Australian Marine Science Institution, which will contribute to the understanding of WA’s marine biodiversity.

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