Bayer Australia CEO Tobias Marchand has welcomed this week’s statement on innovation from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Industry, Innovation and Science Minister Christopher Pyne.
“This is the most comprehensive statement from an Australian government for many years, which aligns perfectly with Bayer’s vision for innovation in Australia,” Mr Marchand said.
Bayer supports science education in Australia through initiatives including the CSIRO’s Sustainable Futures program and agriculture vacation scholarships.
The Sustainable Futures program is a schools-based science program that aims to spark an interest in climate science and sustainable agriculture. It has reached more than 400 schools around Australia.
The agriculture vacation scholarships allow 25 or more university students annually to undertake short-term research projects with CSIRO in the field of plant science and to experience what a career in science can offer.
“At the outset, we welcome the strong focus on STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics] in education, as the starting point for building a technology-based, forward-looking economy,” Mr Marchand said.
“We encourage the Government to redouble effort across the education space, including, in particular, the funding of specialist science teachers at a primary level.”
Bayer is a key partner of CSIRO with a history of research and development collaboration, including partnerships in wheat prebreeding initiatives and global marketing of CSIRO cotton technology.
MA backs growing focus on innovation
Medicines Australia (MA) has also welcomed the Turnbull Government’s national innovation and science agenda and its recognition that innovation is a key to economic growth.
MA says the growing policy focus on innovation from all sides of politics is positive news not only for the Australian economy, but also, ultimately, the livelihoods and health of all Australians.
“The interest from our politicians in unlocking the opportunities for Australian innovation and ingenuity should be commended,” MA CEO Tim James said.
“The right innovation policies can enable industry to invest in highly valued jobs within sectors such as the Australian biopharmaceutical community, which is good for the economy and the community.”
The Government’s innovation agenda has several initiatives that MA will review to assess the potential benefits for the broader sector.
MA says the Biomedical Translation Fund, the creation of the Innovation & Science Australia statutory board, intangible asset depreciation, investment in world-class national research infrastructure, a greater emphasis on commercial outcomes for university research, and encouraging more women to work in STEM jobs will all help to support the ecosystem that the Australian biopharmaceutical sector operates, collaborates and invests within.