Delivering jobs, training and products
AVRA represents a new model of integrated research and industry effort – it is a long term, cooperative and sustainable program that offers value for money, a high level of effectiveness in delivering jobs, training and products from the synergies that will be made possible, and strong prospects for significant financial returns and economic benefits to the nation.
AVRA will provide Australian sovereign capability in the pipeline of activities that drive vaccine innovation to product, both during and in between times of emergency. It will expand vaccine manufacturing capability within Australia, providing the foundation for additional industry, training and job opportunities. AVRA will also propel long-term strategic support for infectious disease research and vaccine development and provide connectivity to both industry partners and similar international consortia.
The alliance will deliver sustainable capacity, and clear and significant benefits in relation to the health and well-being of Australians, sector growth, income from the commercialisation and export of products and services, highly-skilled jobs and long-term training capacity, the attraction of new international investment and avoided costs from improved preparedness for future national threats to human health.
Key expected benefits for Australia and Australian industry include:
- A safeguarding of the health of Australians
- Industry sector growth: Sovereign vaccine manufacturing capability, increased research capacity, and greater supply chain integrity, leading to increased international competitiveness in vaccine development, new biotech spinouts and second tier pharmaceutical companies
- Direct financial returns: revenue, including export income, from a sustainable pipeline of vaccine candidates in late stage development
- Skills and workforce development: Expanded capability and critical skills base in vaccine development; new education, training opportunities and career paths in STEM
- New, high-skilled jobs: Direct and indirect jobs in research, manufacturing and healthcare
- International investment: Connections and reputational benefits from international exposure, leading to new investment and export income, and the potential for manufacturing projects from near neighbours
- Improved preparedness: A well-informed population that understands the importance of vaccines — positive stories and case studies that assist in managing the response of the population in future pandemics.
- Avoided costs: Protection against the potentially catastrophic social and economic consequences from the uncontrolled spread of infectious diseases
The capability developed within AVRA may contribute, or pivot as needed, to other national security-focused initiatives such as the National Medical Countermeasures program, and to the development of vaccines for protection against animal biosecurity threats, such as African swine fever (ASF) and foot and mouth disease (FMD). ASF and FMD have the potential to “wipe out industries, jobs, [and] impact on trade and availability of the Australian produce.” Engagement with the Department of Defence will also be important to structure capability of relevance to national security, in a way that ensures it can withstand or avoid major supply chain interruptions.