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Gold Coast Biomedical

Biomed sector predicted to be a shining light for the Gold Coast economy

As the Gold Coast economy reels from the effects of COVID-19, there is one sector which is predicted to grow exponentially in both the short term and over the next decade.

RDA Gold Coast Chair Mr Nick Scott says employment growth in the region’s emerging biomedical sector is forecast to grow by 11% annually, primarily due to the increased demand for the delivery of clinical trials.

“Global drivers for the clinical trial sector are not just about COVID-19 – due to worldwide population increase, ageing populations and the growth of middle classes, there are international markets seeking better health outcomes, personalised heath care and digital healthcare,” he said.

“As a result, there is absolutely unprecedented investment in health innovations by the medical technology and pharmaceutical sectors, with all these new innovations requiring the process of clinical trials - that’s great news for the Gold Coast.”

RDA Gold Coast’s recently commissioned study, the Regional Biomedical Supply Chain Project, shows that the Gold Coast - already Australia’s largest regional city for the delivery of clinical trials – can capitalise on the growing global demand due to strong competitive advantages which include:

  • a large and growing population which is attractive for Phase 1 trials
  • an ethnically diverse population which is attractive for testing products for international markets
  • an internationally regarded, highly educated and experienced workforce
  • world-class research institutes dedicated to medical innovation, including the Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct
  • public and private hospital infrastructure.

The Gold Coast also benefits from Australia’s strong regulatory framework, with a worldwide trend to closer scrutiny of research findings and trial results.

RDA Gold Coast Director of Regional Development Ms Estella Rodighiero said the Gold Coast is currently delivering over 100 clinical trials, with a strong view amongst investors, local institutions, Government and the overall sector that this will grow significantly in both the short and long term.

With the Gold Coast’s tourism-reliant economy in freefall - and international tourism on ice indefinitely - Ms Rodighiero says that value-adding afforded by the sector will be critical in diversifying the Gold Coast’s economic base.

“Each direct job in the clinical trials sector value adds over $150,000 to the Gold Coast economy. By 2029, employment in clinical trials will be generating $33.1 million per year.”

She added that projected growth in the sector will require $34 million in building works, and every $10 million in revenue from grants or contracts attracted provides a value-added contribution of $8.9 million to the Gold Coast economy and generates 89 extra local jobs.

RDA Gold Coast has launched a new Gold Coast Biomedical website outlining of the results of the biomedical supply chain study, opportunities in the sector, and information on clinical trial sites and institutes.

The study was developed in partnership with City of Gold Coast, the Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct and the Queensland Department of State Development, Tourism and Innovation.


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