CSIRO has revealed a blueprint for how medical technologies and pharmaceuticals (MTP) could add $18 billion to the Australian economy and about 28,000 new jobs within the next eight years.

The Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Roadmap, sets out a path for how Australia could become an important player in the MTP sector, which is expected to grow to almost $3 trillion globally by 2025.

The roadmap was written in collaboration with industry, government and researchers.

"Our Strategy 2020 sets out a vision to be Australia's Innovation Catalyst and created our new OneHealth group," CSIRO Chief Executive Dr Larry Marshall said.

"The Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Roadmap is part of that vision and the guidepost that will help the MTP sector to become a key pillar of our economy, creating jobs and growth for Australia.

"The symbiosis of digital with physical creates new individualised medtech solutions, from 3D printed replacement body parts to personalised brain cancer treatments, growing this sector will save lives in Australia and around the world."

With Australia's spending on healthcare expected to almost double to 16 per cent of GDP by 2040, a renewed focus on the successful translation of excellent science to cheaper and more effective health and medical solutions is a national priority.

"The Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Roadmap shows how Australia can use excellent science to effectively navigate the challenges associated with an ageing population, while also capitalising on global opportunities," Dr Marshall said.

The MTP sector is expected to be worth almost $3 trillion globally by 2025 with a projected annual growth rate of 5.6 per cent.

MTPConnect, the Industry Innovation Growth Centre for the sector, has estimated in its Sector Competitiveness Plan that Australia could create an additional 28,000 jobs by 2025 and add an additional $18 billion to the economy over this period if measures outlined in the CSIRO roadmap were adopted.

"Australia is acknowledged as a world leader in the medtech, biotech and pharma sector due to our vibrant research environment," MTP Connect Chief Executive Sue MacLeman said.

"It is now time for us to come together as a sector to harness our research capabilities, work to our strengths and produce an internationally renowned commercialisation ecosystem to secure the economic and physical health of our future generations."

The roadmap states that the MTP industry will serve as an important economic driver in the future as the sector grows rapidly across the globe due to ageing populations, unprecedented technological advancements and growing health sectors in the developing world.

It outlines four main areas that Australia could capitalise on, based on global trends and our existing advantages:

  • Smart devices, implants and bionics
  • Accelerated pharmaceutical development
  • Manufacturing high-value pharmaceuticals
  • Diagnostics, informatics products and services.

The Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Roadmap is the second in a series of Roadmaps being produced by CSIRO, each aligned to the Federal Government's Industry Growth Centres.

You can find out more by visiting the CSIRO website and downloading the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Roadmap.

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