Victoria's strengths

Melbourne, Victoria, is home to one of the world's largest biotechnology clusters, consisting of global and homegrown companies known for their excellence and innovation.

With more than 180 companies contributing more than US$12 billion1 in economic activity, together with key R&D infrastructure and advanced manufacturing expertise, it is a highly sought after destination for global companies including CSL, GlaxoSmithKline and Catalent Pharma Solutions, who all have recently expanded their Victorian facilities.

More than 40 per cent of the Australian ASX-listed Life science companies are based in Melbourne and many are partnering with multinational companies, such as Roche and Siemens Healthcare. Local organisations include fast growing innovator Starpharma, with its dendrimer delivery platform for medical and agricultural applications; and IDT Australia who specialise in the development, scale-up, and cGMP clinical and commercial manufacture of high potency and cytotoxic API and finished drug product. This growth story is supported by the Australian and Victorian Governments which have demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the industry.

Video: Victoria: Medical technologies and devices

Medicine and health sciences are particular strengths of Melbourne's research and tertiary education sector which attracts the bulk of Australia's medical research funding totalling US$370 million per annum. Melbourne is one of only three cities in the world to have two universities in the global top 20 biomedical rankings.

Melbourne is an attractive location for fast, cost-effective and high-quality clinical trials: It has a streamlined multi-site clinical trial network, fast ethics approval and Australia's Clinical Trial Notification system together with Australia's R&D tax incentive for companies that provides up to a 45 per cent cash refund.

Investment opportunities

In the years 2013-2014, more than US$160 million in new private funds were invested in Victoria's life sciences industry.

Melbourne scores highly in all criteria of the Economist Intelligence Unit's world's most liveable city index and achieved perfect scores in the areas of healthcare, education and infrastructure, making recruiting and retaining talented life sciences professionals easy.

Access to global markets from Melbourne is convenient as the time zone bridges North American and European business hours. This has encouraged a growing number of trans-Pacific partnerships such as Merck and Astra Zeneca. Melbourne is an Asia Pacific gateway for industry collaboration and excellence.

Victoria's capabilities

For more information on Victoria's capabilities, visit the following pages:

Research institutions and map of collaborations

Melbourne has a strong culture of collaboration which has led to breakthroughs in research. Explore the map of Melbourne's research institutions and collaborations at Nature Index.

Melbourne research institutions 


  1. Blake Industry & Market Analysis Pty Ltd (21 October 2016)