With over 16,000 representatives from more than 70 countries in attendance, the annual BIO International Convention in the United States is the most important networking and knowledge-sharing event in the biotechnology industry.
Queensland has sent a high-level life science research and industry mission to BIO, led by successive Queensland Government Ministers and sometimes Queensland Premiers, every year since 1999. Working with Life Sciences Queensland and Austrade the delegates have showcased our state's strengths in life sciences to global leaders in the field and to potential research and investment partners.
Outcomes stemming from over 20 years of Queensland missions to BIO include:
- Since announcing a five year plan to position Queensland as a leading location for bioindustry development at BIO 1999, Queensland now boasts a critical mass of research centres across biotechnology, food and agriculture, health and medical, and offers a distinct advantage for conducting clinical trials.
- Establishment of the key state wide industry body – Life Sciences Queensland.
- The establishment of a world class drug development facility in Brisbane, (then Biopharmaceutical Australia) in 2007 to fill a major R&D capability gap. Today, the facility is operated by Patheon (part of Thermo Fisher Scientific) and plays an important role in manufacturing drugs and vaccines used in pre-clinical and clinical trials.
- Our agreement with the Smithsonian Institution was originally executed around BIO 2000, to allow the exchange of ideas, information, skills, and techniques. It has since been extended 4 times, with the current Memorandum of Understanding signed in February 2018.
- A collaboration between Queensland’s Translational Research Institute (TRI) and global medical developer and manufacturer Siemens Healthineers to develop the Siemens Innovation and Translation Centre (IATC) and increase the translation of research outcomes into clinical use.
- Establishment of the Queensland Emory Drug Discovery Initiative (QEDDI) – the only facility of its kind in Australia – a world-class, fully-integrated, small molecule drug discovery facility to accelerate the development of new drugs from leading academic research.
- A commitment to further the industrial biotech sector with the development of the Queensland Biofutures 10-Year Roadmap and Action Plan and discussions on the potential to supply biofuels to the US Navy.
- A collaboration with Johnson & Johnson to support a life sciences incubator in Brisbane.
- Queensland researchers have led almost 50 research programs worth over US$830 million, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in the areas of population health, dengue fever and banana biofortification.