The right pathway to better health and science

June 19, 2006

Medicines Australia has welcomed today's release of the House of Representatives Science and Innovation Committee report on Pathways to Technological Innovation.

The Chief Executive Officer of Medicines Australia, Mr Kieran Schneemann, said the report is another important step in ensuring Australia remains at the forefront of global science and innovation.

"The recent high profile success of Australian science, whether it is winning the Nobel Prize for Medicine or discovering the world's first ever cancer vaccine, demonstrates the value of investing in innovation and encouraging careers in science and technology," Mr Schneemann said.

The report has made a series of important recommendations aimed at further improving the pathway to innovation. A key recommendation relates to improving linkages between the private and public sectors, which the innovative pharmaceutical industry enthusiastically supports.

"It is vital that Australia harness the combined expertise of the public and private sectors in driving innovation. While Australia performs well on many measures compared to our international competitors, the report highlights areas on which we need to build, such as fostering a culture of entrepreneurship, supporting small to medium enterprises, and promoting available government assistance to business."

The report also highlights the importance of intellectual property to fostering innovation, and the role of international trade and diplomatic negotiations in protecting and furthering Australia's intellectual property rights.

"The recent launch of the Pharmaceutical Industry Council is a leading example of the advantages of a partnership between the public and private sector.

"The new Council brings together brings together the innovative, generic and biotechnology industries, and government, to represent a whole-of-sector approach to growing investment in the pharmaceutical sector," Mr Schneemann said.

The pharmaceutical sector employs more than 30,000 people, exports more than $3 billion worth of medicines annually and invests more than $500 million a year in research and development collaborations with local hospitals, universities and research institutes. It is a major, innovative contributor to the economy and one of the most R&D intensive industries in Australia.
-end-
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Paul Chamberlin +61 419 233 989 or +61 261 228 520

Research Australia

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