September 3, 2018

Melbourne Biomedical Precinct News – September 2018

Well known Melburnian, businessman, philanthropist and Precinct advocate, Harold Mitchell AC will assume the role of Chair of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct for the next six months, following the departure of our Executive Chair Professor Gareth Goodier last month.
Gareth has taken on a new role as CEO of Abu Dhabi’s health system after two years at the helm of the Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Office. During this time, he’s been a driving force for change in the Precinct overseeing both the establishment of the Office and the delivery of the strategic plan for the Precinct. We wish him every success in his new role.
Harold Mitchell is Chair of the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel, which recognised the importance of the Precinct in its 2016 report to the Government. The recommendations of this panel were fundamental to the establishment of this Office and the development of the Strategic Plan for the Precinct. In addition to other roles, Harold is also Chair of the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health.
Harold will be a great asset for us during the next important phase of working with the partners to implement the strategic plan. In particular he will explore opportunities to increase the international profile of the Precinct and champion new partnerships and investment.
A search for a new Executive Chair will commence in the new year.

Land Use Framework Plan Project Update

The Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Office continues to work closely with the Victorian Planning Authority (VPA) on the development of a land use framework plan for the precinct. The Framework Plan will set out the land use strategies which will support the objectives of the strategic plan, released in April.

The VPA has released a project update to bring stakeholders up to speed on its progress.

You can find the VPA’s project update here

Australian Museum Eureka Prizes

Presented on 29 August 2018, the annual Australian Museum Eureka Prizes reward excellence in the fields of research & innovation, leadership, science engagement and school science.

A number of our Precinct Partners were represented in the teams and individuals shortlisted as finalists this year, including Associate Professor Alan Duffy from Swinburne University of Technology who took home the 2018 Celestino Eureka Prize for Promoting Understanding of Science.

Congratulations to Alan and the other Melbourne Biomedical Precinct finalists:

  • The Biopen Team shorlisted for the UNSW Eureka Prize for Excellence in Interdisciplinary Scientific Research
  • Dr Jason Brouwer shortlisted for the 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science
  • Jo Chandler shortlisted for the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Eureka Prize for Science Journalism

Read more about the Precinct’s Eureka Prize finalists here

Building international partnerships – Sky Gross and Nathan Elia visit Melbourne

We were delighted to introduce Nathan Elia and Dr Sky Gross to the Precinct in July when they visited Melbourne for a series of meetings, workshops and presentations with government, industry and Precinct Partners.

Nathan is the Victorian Government’s Investment & Trade Director in Boston, where he focuses on biotechnology, life sciences, medical R&D and tech. Sky is the inaugural Biomedical Director at Victoria’s new trade and investment office in Tel Aviv and will be instrumental in not only building relationships between here and Israel, but also in facilitating a more commercial approach to the translation of our research.

Read more

Collaborate + Connect + Commercialise Networking Series

In July, more than 150 people attended our third networking event which showcased a panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing scientists in the quest for commercialisation and the translation of research into patient care.

Dr Sky Gross was joined by Professor Andrew Nash from CSL, Nathan Elia from the Victorian Government’s Trade and Investment Office in Boston, and Professor Aleksandar Subic – Deputy Vice-chancellor (Research & Development) at Swinburne University for a robust discussion and reflection on the topic.

These events continue to bring together industry and the sector to help build further impact for the Precinct.

Read a full overview of the event here

Events and opportunities

You may be interesting interested in attending one or more of the following events taking place in the coming weeks:

  • Eliminating Hepatitis C – is it actually possible? On Thursday 6 September, Dr John McHutchison AO, Chief Scientific Officer and Head of Research and Development at Gilead Sciences, will talk about his experiences and hopes for HCV patients. This is a fantastic opportunity to learn from someone who had significant global impact through the commercialisation of their research.
  • I can save lives! How to take medical research to the market. On Monday 10 September, life science venture capital expert Brigitte Smith will profile some recent commercialisation success stories, giving you the chance to imagine the real-life impacts of your work from bench to bedside and beyond. This is a VCCC Monday Lunch Live event.
  • Culture of Medical Research – Where Are We Heading? On Monday 17 September, join WEHI Director Professor Doug Hilton for a conversation about where the culture of medical research is heading. This is a VCCC Monday Lunch Live event.

Did you know?

On Friday 17 August, a social football game was held between Peter Mac and the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute at Princes Park. The event was a great way to meet colleagues from other institutions, and the organisers hope to broaden the community aspect of medical research and foster wider inter-institute collaborations. While everyone’s a winner at these friendly events, for the record WEHI won the game on the day!

Stay informed

The Melbourne Biomedical Precinct Office was established by the Victorian Government to drive economic development in the Precinct and strengthen its position as a world leader in biomedical research, development and innovation.

Do you know someone who would like to know more about our work and stay informed? Please direct them to this website or sign up here


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