Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles)
ISSN: 1036-7128
Vol. 11, Num. 2, 2001, pp. 19-21
Untitled Document

Australasian Biotechnology, Vol. 11 No. 2, 2001, pp. 19-21


Code Number: au01022


The Directors of the ABA have finalised a detailed Business Plan for the ABA, and elements of this have now been presented to and discussed with the Federal Government, and also with several State Governments. The major outcome to date has, of course, been the decision by the Federal Government to provide considerable financial support to enable the ABA to carry out functions desired by the stakeholder. Below, we reproduce the Executive Summary of the Business Plan. As stated in our last issue, we welcome commentary by Members to this Plan and, indeed, any aspect of the restructure. All comments will be published, unless libellous. ABA’s Executive Director, Tony Coulepis has also indicated that he welcomes comments made directly to him.


Australian Biotechnology Association, Executive Summary of the Business Plan (1/7/2001 - 30/6/2004)

This Australian Biotechnology Association (ABA) Business Plan covers a three-year period from 1st July 2001 to 30th June 2004. The Plan outlines the strategy, objectives and implementation activities for the successful achievement of the ABA’s mission of becoming the pre-eminent biotechnology industry organisation in Australia, recognised nationally and internationally, through its facilitation of the development of this industry in Australia.

Today biotechnology encompasses a broad range of traditional and entrepreneurial biosciences such as, but not limited to, human and animal health, agriculture and food, diagnostics, medical and veterinary devices, informatics, genomics, proteomics, manufacturing and environmental technologies. The ABA plans to represent the interests of all biosciences within biotechnology industry in Australia.

To achieve its objective the ABA will focus on the entire supply chain for the biotechnology industry. The ABA will establish information services and implement activities that will strengthen the ABA’s role in meeting the needs of the Australian biotechnology industry, and consequently foster the development and growth of the industry.

Six Key Activities of the ABA

The ABA has identified 6 key areas of activity that will bring benefits to ABA members, biotechnology stakeholders and the nation. These 6 key elements, which will be directed towards an industry focus through representation and lobbying, as well as fostering communication, public relations, participation, investment, education and networking, are:

  • n Increasing Awareness of the Biotechnology Industry

Biotechnology awareness is a cornerstone to adoption of the new opportunities available through research and industry development. The ABA will develop increasing awareness and understanding of the industry and the benefits of biotechnology amongst:

  • ABA members;
  • Federal / state / local governments;
  • The public;
  • Students / teachers;
  • Media and analysts; and
  • Service providers.
  • Nurturing Sustainable Enterprises

Growth of the biotechnology industry depends primarily on the success of “start-up” companies. The ABA will work to nurture biotechnology enterprises through facilitation of information, data and services in relation to:

  • - Commercialisation processes;
  • - Intellectual property and project management;
  • - Company structuring and corporate governance;
  • - Business planning and investment opportunities;
  • - Capital raising, initial public offerings and trade sales;
  • - Human resources management;
  • - Employee remuneration, including share option plans and other incentive schemes; and
  • - Quality assurance and general business “know how”.
  • Expanding the Industry through Trained Professionals

As the training of professionals and sharing their experiences are essential to the expansion of the industry, the ABA will work with private enterprise and government to increase access to appropriately trained professionals through:

  • Coordinating professional development programs;
  • Establishing a job placement page on the ABA website;
  • Facilitating relevant education activities; and
  • Dissemination of industrial relations information.
  • n Increasing Biotechnology Links

Trade opportunities, technical advances and capability awareness are typical of the benefits arising from improving business links from within the biotechnology industry and also with other industry sectors. The ABA will work to improve and foster these links both domestically and internationally through:

  • Organising and facilitating domestic and international conferences;
  • Maintaining a biotechnology directory and database;
  • Enhancing domestic business links;
  • Facilitating public sector linkages; and
  • Establishing relationships with international organisations.
  • n Enabling a Competitive Financial Environment

The financial policy environment in which biotechnology enterprises operate in Australia needs to be supportive, and not restrictive, in order for the community to benefit. The ABA will work with private enterprise and government to establish specific programs, information sources, services and activities aimed at ensuring a competitive financial policy environment relating to:

  • Business incentives;
  • Taxation;
  • Investment;
  • Cost reduction initiatives for members; and
  • Business efficiencies.
  • n Enabling a Competitive Regulatory Environment

Biotechnology operates within a regulatory framework both nationally and internationally. To ensure the regulators actively develop policies and practices that are not overly restrictive, while giving confidence to both the community and the industry, the ABA will address issues relating to:

  • Benchmarking (ie comparisons against international and domestic standards);
  • Enhancing the biotechnology regulatory environment; and
  • Improving communication with regulatory organisations.

Delivering “the Goods”

To deliver these services, and to implement activities for the benefit of its members, the ABA will re-organise its management and activities. A Board of Directors with representatives of industry (5 Directors) and research organisations (3 Directors) will oversee the Association. In addition, an Executive Director, appointed by the Board of Directors, will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the ABA. This constitutes a Management Board of 9 Directors.

The ABA will undertake a two-level delivery strategy. The first will be to employ a “core group” of dedicated personnel, with appropriate skills. These ABA dedicated staff will be responsible for implementing the Six Key Elements of this plan. The second delivery strategy will be to enhance the facilitation of activities through strong state and regional branch committees operating in the key biotechnology locations. Locally based administrative assistance will help drive activities to deliver the outcomes to members. In addition, the ABA will establish expert Advisory Groups to deliver the planned services to members and the Australian biotechnology industry.

Members and Benefits

Three streams of membership will be available, namely, Corporate, Individual and Student. Being a member of the ABA should be a rewarding experience and the ABA is determined to ensure this. The ABA offers an attractive list of benefits to its members as shown below.

Corporate Member Key Benefits:

  • Effective representation to federal, state and local governments (including parliamentarians) and other regulatory authorities by the ABA’s Executive and members;
  • Input and access to a code of conduct/ethics for members;
  • Participation by senior company executives in seminars, workshops and summits;
  • Participation in trade missions;
  • Access to information concerning national and international biotechnology developments;
  • Special rates for corporate promotion, registration and booth rates at ABA conferences and activities;
  • Access to a variety of networked business information services;
  • Copies of the ABA Journal and access to the ABA Directory for all staff of Corporate Members who register with the ABA;
  • Services on the ABA website including links to home pages, company profiles and contract placement (ie advertisement/ communication);
  • Networking opportunities with biotechnologists and a directory of consultants/expert witnesses on request; and
  • Access to educational and development programs for staff through the involvement in state/regional branch activities.

To enjoy these benefits, as the ABA develops its member activities over this Business Plan, a sliding scale of Corporate membership fees will be introduced as shown in the table below.

Individual and Student Member Key Benefits:

  • Access to, and participation in, local branch activities;
  • Access to, and participation in, expert committees;
  • Copy of the ABA Journal;
  • Discount on conference registration (10%);
  • Networking opportunities through local activities and national conferences;
  • Access to, and participation as, consultants and expert witness on request;
  • Information updates, workshops and seminars relating to technology promotion;
  • Job advertising;
  • Opportunity to present scientific papers at major scientific events;
  • Password access to selected areas of website and E-mail notifications; and
  • Participation in ABA web newsgroup for technical and commercial advice.

Individual and student membership fees will not rise significantly during this Business Plan.

Corporate Sponsors

In addition to the above membership categories, the ABA also provides opportunities for organisations to take up premier positions as Corporate Sponsors. The sponsorships are available for “specific” activities or for “general” sponsorship positions.

The benefits for organisations taking up sponsorship opportunities with the ABA include:

  • Opportunities for promotion of sponsor’s goods and services directly to biotechnologists around Australia and also at state / regional branch activities providing direct contact with biotechnologists;
  • Opportunities for advertising and promoting the sponsor’s goods and services during national and international conferences. Furthermore, opportunities to advertise/disseminate corporate promotional material and delegate packs at conferences;
  • Raising the profile of sponsors through their activities with the Australian biotechnology industry;
  • Special rates for companies, and their staff, at ABA conferences, round table discussions, workshops, seminars and other ABA activities; and
  • Customised promotional activities, as required by sponsors, in order to maximise the benefits to Corporate Sponsors.

Details on the rates for sponsorships within the “specific” and “general” categories, or on an “event basis” can be discussed with the ABA Executive and interest in sponsorship opportunities will be solicited as part of the implementation process of this Business Plan.

Benefits to Government

The ABA also recognises the importance of the contribution of federal, state and local governments to the growth potential of the biotechnology industry and the ABA. As part of the ABA’s activities, governments will benefit in the following ways:

  • Growth of a national, sustainable biotechnology industry, generating wealth for Australia;
  • The ABA will be a source of “authoritative” information and opinion about the Australian biotechnology industry and consequently will generate opinion and will provide advice to government on the industry;
  • A fully representative biotechnology industry organisation capable of delivering Government programs through subcontracted activities such as:
  • Involvement in and/or steering collaborative activities;
  • Industry studies;
  • Consultancies;
  • Coordination of biotechnology activities;
  • Hosting of visiting biotechnology delegations;
  • Arranging Australian delegations for international activities;
  • Facilitating compilation of industry opinion; and
  • Project management of government sponsored activities/actions.
  • The ABA will pursue and foster strategic relationships with international biotechnology associations such as BIO, BIA, etc., thus ensuring that the Australian industry has an international network;
  • The development and management of an appropriate, relevant and “user-friendly” biotechnology Directory and database;
  • Involvement as a national coordinating body for Australian biotechnology industry and a “Regional Centre” relating to SE Asia and the Pacific Rim;
  • A forum to showcase and promote Australian biotechnology to overseas markets;
  • A means of encouraging investment, employment and growth in the Australian biotechnology industry;
  • Effective state/regional branches promoting national ABA objectives and local activities relevant to Australia’s state/regions; and
  • A source of advice to secondary and tertiary education suppliers, consequently providing input into biotechnology courses and educational activities.

The ABA will work as the peak national industry organisation implementing and delivering on national imperatives, according to a national agenda, with active state and regional branches assisting with the implementation and delivery of activities and services.

The successful implementation of this Business Plan will be the ABA’s contribution to the stimulation and growth of the Australian biotechnology industry. This will be achieved through the services and activities provided by the ABA to its members and to stakeholders of the Australian biotechnology industry.


President: Dr Peter Riddles (IMBCom) Tel: (07) 3365 7130; Fax: (07) 3365 7226; Email:

Vice President: Dr John Ballard (GroPep Ltd) Tel: (08) 8354 7701; Fax: (08) 8354 7747; Email:

Directors: Mr Scott Carpenter (Aventis CropScience Pty Ltd) Tel: (03) 9248 6833; Fax: (03) 9248 6605; Email:

Dr Simon Carroll (Curtin University) Fax: (08) 9286 4938 Email:

Dr Shanny Dyer (Avax Aust Pty Ltd) Tel: (02) 8923 2614; Fax: (02) 8923 2525; Email:

Dr David Irving (R&D, Biotech Australia) Tel: (02) 9928 8829; Fax: (02) 9928 8899; Email:

Dr Lyndal Thorburn (Advance Consulting & Evaluation) Tel: (02) 6297 2438; Fax: (02) 6297 2203; Email:

Dr David Tribe (Dept. Microbiology, Univ. Melbourne) Tel: (03) 8344 5703; Fax: (03) 9347 1540; Email:

Dr Elane Zelcer (Thrombogenix) Tel: (03) 9827 6427; Fax: (03) 9824 0054; Email:

Executive Director: Dr Tony Coulepis (AGC) Tel: (03) 9596 8879; Fax: (03) 9596 8874; Mobile: 0419 436 902

Company Secretary: Mr Peter Francis (Francis, Abourizk & Lightowlers) Tel: (03) 9614 5222

Secretariat: Mrs Anne Greig/Mrs Margaret Dorevitch Tel: (03) 9596 8879; Fax: (03) 9596 8874 Email:

Treasurer: Mr Alex Forsyth Tel: (03) 9905 9914; Mobile: 0419 308 838 Fax: (03) 9905 9911

Publications: Dr Martin Playne (Melbourne Biotechnology) Tel: (03) 9598 9818; Mobile: 0407 804 851 Email:


ACT Branch: Dr Lyndal Thorburn (Advance Consulting & Evaluation) Tel: (02) 6297 2438; Fax: (02) 6297 2203; Email:

NSW Branch: Dr David Irving (Biotech Australia Pty Ltd) Tel: (02) 9928 8829; Fax: (02) 9928 8899; Email:

Qld Branch: Dr Greg Harper (CSIRO Tropical Agriculture) Tel: (07) 3214 2441; Fax: (07) 32142480 Email:

Vic Branch: Mr Scott Carpenter (Aventis) Tel: (03) 9248 6833; Fax: (03) 9248 6605; Email:

WA Branch: Dr Michael Borowitzka (Murdoch Univ) Tel: (08) 9360 2333; Fax: (08) 9360 6303 Email:

INTEREST GROUPS: Fermentation & BioProcessing Interest Group (FBIG): Dr John Power (RMIT University), Chairman Tel: (03) 9925 2796; Fax: (03) 9662 3421 Email:

Dr Nick Kotlartski (Alpharma Pty Ltd), Secretary Tel: (03) 9388 0655; Fax: (03) 9388 1259 Email:

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