BioMedVic celebrates twenty years of achievements

On Thursday 5th December 2019 BioMedVic gathered a crowd in the beautiful Treetops room at the Melbourne Museum to celebrate twenty years of biomedical achievements. At this warm reception, BioMedVic counted with the participation of key figures in the configuration of the health and medical sector who have shaped Melbourne’s vibrant and changing biomedical landscape.

Having decided that the best way to mark the “End of the BioMedVic Era” was by celebrating its achievements and those of the remarkable Victorian health and biomedical research community, we brought together key players of the last twenty years to celebrate, discuss and explore the past, present and future of biomedical research in the state.

The event started its narrative in 1999, when the Bio21 Cluster was created by the Bracks government as part of the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) initiative. Richard Larkins, Jane Niall, Stella Clark, Malcolm McConville and David Pennington shared their knowledge about the history behind the STI as a platform for promoting Victoria, the creation of the Bio21 Cluster and its transition to BioMedVic.

But to understand the importance and impact of past events, we knew we needed to acknowledge how far we have come today. Panel two discussed the current focus on the role of clinicians and patients, on the interplay between researchers and industry, and on the importance of the sector for economic growth. Ingrid Winship, Michael Parker and Andrew Cuthbertson gave a sector-wide perspective from different points of view, which were complemented by contributions from Katherine Locock, Celia Vandestadt and Avnika Ruparelia, participants of the successful and “life-changing” BioMedVic programs ‘Researcher in Residence’ and ‘UROP’.

Finally, we looked into the future and asked, “where will we be in 2040?”. Peter Rogers, Grant McArthur and Sam Forster discussed current sector trends in research highlighted the impact of strong leadership, strategic collaborations and international partnerships on Victoria’s future success.

We are certain that all guests appreciated learning more about the STI and the early days of BioMedVic.

The Forum was a great opportunity for BioMedVic to highlight its many achievements and celebrate its 20-year-long contribution to the biomedical research fabric across Victoria. Collaboration has always been at the heart of BioMedVic, so we couldn’t be prouder of delivering an event so aligned with this goal.

BioMedVic Chair Warwick Tong thanked everyone for attending and recognised the fabulous work of BioMedVic’s past and present staff over the years.

The event concluded with a toast to BioMedVic and to the future of biomedical research in Victoria!

(L-R): Warwick Tong, Jan Tennent, David Pennington, Jane Niall and Richard Larkins