Business View Oceania | Volume 4, Issue 1

13 14 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 BUSINESS VIEW OCEANIA VOLUME 4, ISSUE 1 (working with stakeholders to identify strategic initiatives that support and strengthen the local ecosystem), Advocacy (building and maintaining a supportive policy, regulatory, and investment environment), Sector promotion (striving to be the central gateway for the promotion of Victoria’s Healthtech industry, both domestically and internationally), and Healthtech industry development (seeking new opportunities to strengthen the industry and increase value to the industry, keeping it informed of sector trends and issues with valuable resources, webinars, and events). CEO at BioMelbourne Network, Jeff Malone shares his insight into the importance of the association for its members and the industry they represent. “We began as a facilitator of connections between researchers in Melbourne’s Healthtech ecosystem and related industry partners, to help bring their research and intellectual property into the market and translate their skills and experience into commercial opportunities. We started largely with biopharma and regenerative medicine and have evolved since to support things like medical devices and diagnostics as well as health related IT and app technology. It’s been incredibly important to us that we evolve alongside our market to make sure we’re representing the whole of what we call the Healthtech industry, which includes not just direct researchers, developers, and innovators, but also the ecosystem around them.” BioMelbourne Network communicates with their members via a bi-weekly newsletter (In The Loop), AGMs, online and in-person networking events and workshops, social media groups, email updates, and regular publications that are connected to industry news and innovation as they evolve. BioMelbourne Network has been a critical supporter of the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic- especially given that Victoria was the hardest hit state in Australia. Mr. Malone explains, “We have taken a really hard look at our organisation and what we do in light of the pandemic, to make sure we remain aligned with what our industry needs from a biosecurity and economic perspective. Because the Healthtech industry is key to both- our members are vital contributors that are building the next generation of vaccines, developing and delivering treatments for illnesses like COVID-19 as well as various cancers and diseases, and innovating in the equipment and device sphere for things like advanced prosthetics and diagnostic devices. That’s what our industry does. So it’s been a very busy time for us over the last few years, and our strategy reflects the work we have put in for our members and our industry ecosystem.” A team of seven passionate individuals, BioMelbourne Network is a state-based organisation that collaborates with industry partners and government to advocate and advise on relevant issues at a national level. Their support has included data, analytics, and logistics provision for projects and initiatives such as MRNA Victoria, advisory panel organisation, and advocacy for national issues including patent box regime development. Mr. Malone elaborates, “We regularly partner with other national and state-based bodies to coordinate responses to relevant industry needs. A recent example has been our work towards an Australian patent box regime. So if the local industry has researched and designed a new medical device and they patent that here in Australia, the income and the proceeds from that will have lower tax rates if it stays here in Australia, as opposed to moving it overseas. So, it’s advantageous to not only do the research here, because Australia’s been good at research for a very long time, but to commercialise it here as a product. This has been a challenge for our industry; translating intellectual property into the market. So, our position is to help drive that commercial ecosystem.” B IOMELBOURNE NETWORK