Dr Tao Zhu (left), Dr Dennis Liotta (centre) and Professor Maree Smith (right) at the Life Sciences@UQ Networking Forum.
Dr Tao Zhu (left), Dr Dennis Liotta (centre) and Professor Maree Smith (right) at the Life Sciences@UQ Networking Forum.

25 November 2014

On 27 October, The University of Queensland’s Institute for Molecular Bioscience (IMB) hosted its second Life Sciences@UQ Networking Forum on "Networking a globally competitive life sciences sector for Queensland".

Invited speakers for the forum included: Professor Dennis Liotta (Executive Director, Emory Institute for Drug Development), Dr Tao Zhu (Co-Founder and Senior Vice-President, Research and Development, Tianjin CanSino Biotech) and Professor Maree Smith (TetraQ, UQ).

Around 80 people from industry, government and research participated in the lively discussion centred around the following two questions:

  1. What are overseas collaborators and investors looking for in Australia/Queensland?
  2. What are the opportunities and barriers to investing and partnering here?

The major themes from the conversation on the day were:

  • health and medical research and its translation is a long term proposition
  • the drug development pipeline (in terms of barriers, timing and funding) needs improvement
  • proof of concept funding is critical but missing
  • there is insufficient venture capital in Australia
  • more experienced commercial managers are needed
  • US and China have a range of supports and incentives to develop their biotech sectors
  • a biotechnology industry development policy and strategy is needed for Queensland
  • new philanthropic venture funding models emerging.

The feedback from these discussions was collated and you can read the document here.

Look out for the next Life Sciences@UQ Networking Forum to be held next year.

Media contact: IMB Communications on (07) 3346 2134 or communications@imb.uq.edu.au

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