Australasian Biotechnology (backfiles)
ISSN: 1036-7128
Vol. 10, Num. 5, 2000, pp. 18-27

Australasian Biotechnology, Vol. 10 No. 5, 2000, pp. 28


Code Number: au00052


The Hon John Brumby, Victorian Minister for State and Regional Development recently (August 17th) gave the keynote speech at a very successful evening cocktail function organised by the legal firm, Blake Dawson Waldron and the ABA’s Victorian Branch. The penthouse floor of 101 Collins Street Melbourne, and the excellent food and drinks provided generously by Blake Dawson Waldron made an excellent forum for over 120 ABA members and guests to hear John Brumby’s speech, and also to have a very useful networking evening.

Part of Mr Brumby’s speech is reproduced below:

“I can tell you that 56% of all Australian biotechnology companies by market capitalisation have made their homes in Victoria. We can justify calling Melbourne the place to be for innovation in biotechnology. We have a well-established base - but we must build on it with innovative policies that continue to position Victoria as a national and world leader in biotechnology.

To achieve this, the Bracks’ Government is making a substantial commitment to science, technology and innovation. We are committed to building a world-class infrastructure, further developing the State’s skill base and fostering a culture of innovation.

Associations such as the ABA are central to helping Government to achieve these outcomes.

By providing a platform that brings together all the industry, research and educational groups involved in our biotechnology community, the ABA plays an important role in:

  • facilitating the commercialisation of our knowledge,
  • fostering international relationships, and
  • marketing our capabilities to the international biotech community

I am pleased to say that many members of the ABA have already contributed to the development of a Biotechnology Strategic Plan for Victoria. This Strategy focuses on building our present strengths, identifying gaps in our capabilities and implementing initiatives to fill such gaps.

The Strategy is being compiled by the Science, Technology and Innovation Division of my Department and will be released later this year. I thank the ABA and those of you here tonight who have contributed to its development.

It’s true that associations like the ABA play an important role in occasionally prodding the Government about issues that are impeding growth and development. This is a role that the Bracks’ Government respects - indeed, encourages!

We are keen to work hand-in-hand with all the biotechnology stakeholders, in developing policies for the future. I look forward to ongoing dialogue between Government and the ABA.”


The Canberra Region Branch of the ABA held a meeting at Canberra Hospital on 9 October. Dr Nik Petrovsky, who is Chief Executive Office of the National Health Sciences Centre Ltd, gave an informative talk about the development of the NHSC from a primarily educational institution to a fully fledged clinical trials operator. NHSC was formed in 1994 and is currently structured as a company limited by guarantee with members including ANU, University of Canberra, Canberra Clinical School (University of Sydney) and the ACT Department of Health and Community Care. Through the University of Canberra and supported by Eli Lilly it offers certificate and diploma level courses in clinical trials management by distance education. It has conducted over 10 clinical trials of new therapeutics aimed at diabetes, hypertension and drug withdrawal. It aims to be in the top three centres world-wide in relation to patient recruitment and data management in each of the international trials in which it participates. NHSC also undertakes feasibility studies, designs study protocols, prepares ethics submissions, prepares report formats for case reports and recruits principal investigators and subjects for trials.

NHSC is seeking outside equity partners to enable it to increase its focus on development of intellectual property from Canberra region research groups. For more information on NHSC’s capacity email

The Branch’s next function will be the first of our industry roundtables on 25 October. This four hour seminar will cover key issues regarding commercialisation and company interactions for life science researchers and industry staff. Speakers are Mr Philip Mendes, a technology lawyer, and Dr Brian Button, of AGRECON, a University of Canberra spinoff firm. For more information on these and future events email Robin on

Lyndal Thorburn Branch Chair

Copyright 2000 - Australasian Biotechnology


© Bioline International, 1989 - 2004, Site last up-dated on 03-Ago-2006.