Brisbane’s health sector is recognised as one of the leading contributors to the city’s strong growth economy. The sector is on a strong growth trajectory – health is the city’s largest employer, generating more than 138,400 jobs in 2021/22, and contributing $2.11 billion to the state of Queensland, with an export value estimated at $450 million and forecast to grow by 38% between 2025 and 2026.
Brisbane is the home of medical research and innovation, with more than 100 health and biotech facilities. Brisbane’s globally competitive life sciences sector is linked via a knowledge corridor that runs five kilometres north to south through the inner city, and is made up of hospitals, research institutes and university precincts.
This includes the Translational Research Institute (TRI), an Australian-first, state-of-the-art facility where biopharmaceuticals and treatments are discovered, produced, clinically tested and manufactured in one location.
TRI is an anchor institute – along with the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Ecosciences Precinct (ESP), The University of Queensland, Patheon by Thermo Fisher Scientific, and the Pharmacy Australia Centre of Excellence (PACE) – of the Boggo Road Innovation Precinct, where more than 1,000 scientists work to deliver solutions for some of Australia’s biggest health and environmental challenges.
Brisbane is also home to the Queensland Institute of Medical Research, now known as QIMR Berghofer, one of Australia’s most successful medical research institutes, and The Prince Charles Hospital, where researchers tackle chronic diseases impacting 90% of the population.
Cochlear, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions, produces components of its cochlear implant systems at its Brisbane manufacturing facility, while companies such as Cook Medical, the largest privately owned medical device company in the world, have based their Asia Pacific headquarters in Brisbane.
Brisbane has a plethora of early-stage commercial ventures that are attracting considerable attention within the medical technology (MedTech) sector, including WearOptimo, De Motu Cordis, Field Orthopaedics, Microbio, Laronix, Clinials and Genesis Cardiology. Brisbane is also home to high-growth companies such as Vaxxas (who are partnering with the World Health Organisation to develop needle-free vaccine technology), Microba, Icon Group, Max Kelsen, Midnight Health, and VALD, a global leader in human measurement technologies for the sporting and healthcare industries. More than 800 of the world’s top sporting teams, including clubs in the EPL, NBA and NFL, use VALD’s proprietary systems.
Brisbane Economic Development Agency (BEDA) has established a MedTech Initiative that delivers a Global Accelerator program to fast-track investment and open international pathways to strategic partnerships for early-stage ventures; amplifying the highly skilled and educated workforce; and promoting logistic advantages including the close proximity to Asia’s rapidly growing consumer markets. Brisbane is in the driver’s seat to solve global challenges with game-changing impacts.