Dr Chris Davis & Dan Barr - Why the Gold Coast is on track to become a global biomed powerhouse: New 10-year growth strategy
Episode description (44 mins)
In this special podcast episode, host Estella Rodighiero dives deep into the origins, drivers and incredible potential of our booming biomedical industry, interviewing Dr Chris Davis, General Manager of Griffith University’s Institute for Glycomics, and Dan Barr, Director of the Better Cities Group.
Both have played a key role in the development of our new Gold Coast Emerging Biomedical Industry Study, released this week, which lays out a ten-year growth strategy for the sector.
Twenty years ago, the Gold Coast had exactly zero biomed companies or institutions. Now now it’s a thriving innovation ecosystem anchored by the Gold Coast Health & Knowledge Precinct and the world-leading Institute for Glycomics, with forward-thinking startups and a top-10 global pharmaceutical company. You'll hear how this growth has not just happened by accident - it has required vision, investment in infrastructure, the right government policy settings, and most importantly, the Gold Coast’s highly collaborative and entrepreneurial spirit.
The challenge for the next decade, addressed by the study, is strategic: how to support and enable a sector that's expected to grow at twice the rate of any other local industry, and attract the right investment to position the Gold Coast as one of the world's pre-eminent biomed and medtech cities.
Dr Chris Davis obtained a PhD in synthetic medicinal chemistry from the Institute for Glycomics on the Gold Coast before launching his career in the private biotech sector, negotiating technology deals with pharmaceutical and biotech companies globally. In 2009 he returned to the Institute as General Manager, where he leads a group of professionals dedicated to the strategic and operational development of the Institute, covering domestic and international business strategy, technology commercialisation and general Institute operations. The primary focus of the Institute is developing and translating its drug, vaccine and diagnostic inventions into health, social and economic benefit, locally and globally.
Dan Barr leads the multi-disciplinary consultancy, Better Cities Group – a collaboration of leading city shaping consultants that work throughout Australia to drive economic revitalisation and create great places. In this role Dan is commonly sought after to lead a response to complex projects for both the public and private sector. Dan has lived on the Gold Coast for nearly twenty years and prior to founding Better Cities Group he held leadership roles in the delivery of the Gold Coast Light Rail project, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games and Community Renewal program. He holds formal qualifications in urban design, public health, and project management.