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Biotechnology Industry in Victoria, Australia


Victoria leads Australia’s biotechnology sector, with particular strengths in the medical and agricultural fields, especially in oncology, neurosciences, regenerative medicine (including stem cells), infectious diseases, and genetics of dairy cattle and pasture grasses.

Victoria is home to about 150 biotechnology companies, as well as 13 major medical research institutes, 10 teaching hospitals conducting significant research, and 9 universities, together employing about 22,000 people in the life sciences sector.

The Victorian biotechnology industry continues to perform strongly, despite the global economic downturn, with sales of AUD7.6 billion and R&D spending of AUD619 million in 2010/2011.  Victorian companies make up 68% of the aggregate value of Australia’s top 20 listed biotechnology companies.

Victoria's life sciences sector encompasses:

  • drug discovery and development
  • pharmaceutical manufacturing
  • medical devices and diagnostics
  • agricultural, veterinary and environmental science and biotechnology 
  • information, computing and communications technologies
  • food and beverage production
  • industrial biotechnology.

Source: Blake Industry and Market Analysis P/L

Industry size

Sales by Victorian biotechnology firms in financial year 2010/11 are estimated at AUD7.6 billion, and the market capitalisation of Victoria’s listed firms was more than AUD20 billion at the end of September 2011.  Private-sector research and development expenditure was about AUD619 million, while the total income of medical research institutes was more than AUD470 million in 2010.

The broader Victorian life sciences industry sector employs about 22,000 people. Of these, more than 6,000 people work in Victorian-based biotechnology companies, with about 2,270 employed in research and development.  Multinational companies employ about 4100 people in Victoria, and in addition, more than 5,800 are employed by clinical trial operators, contract research companies, and private pathology groups. In total, about 16,000 people are employed in the life-sciences private sector in Victoria.

Approximately 6,000 people work in medical research institutes in Victoria or in life-sciences fields at Victorian universities.

Source: Blake Industry and Market Analysis P/L


See the Visa Nomination Occupation Lists for Victoria for eligible occupations, including requirements for specific occupations.

Visit our Visas and Immigrating section for detailed information about the minimum eligibility requirements, assessment criteria and the application process for Victorian visa nomination.

Industry contacts

Professional bodies and industry associations are a good source of information about the science and biotechnology industry in Victoria.  These include:

  • AusBiotech - Australia's biotechnology industry organisation, covering the human health, agricultural, medical device, bioinformatics, environmental and industrial sectors in biotechnology
  • Professionals Australia  - represents the science and engineering professions
  • The BioMelbourne Network - peak industry leadership forum for the Victorian biotechnology industry.  Members and non-members are provided with opportunities to connect with the local biotechnology industry.
  • The Victorian Employers' Chamber of Commerce and Industry is the peak body for employers in Victoria.

The Victorian Bioportal also contains a wide range of information on the Victorian biotechnology industry. 


Not sure what your occupation is? Visit the Australian Skills Recognition Information page on the Department of Immigration and Border Protection's website.

Biotechnology in Melbourne

The following video produced by Invest Victoria showcases Melbourne and the biotechnology opportunities it offers.