Regional Biomedical Supply Chain Project 2020

Identifying emerging opportunities

The Gold Coast is the largest regional city in Australia for the delivery of clinical trials.

The sector is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade. As part of the Gold Coast’s commitment to diversify and strengthen our region’s economy and create high-value, knowledge-based jobs, the recently commissioned Regional Biomedical Supply Chain Development Project identified the current capability of the Gold Coast’s clinical trial sector, its economic value, its projected growth over the next ten years (to 2029) and the supply chain opportunities that will enable the sector to continue to grow.

2021 RDA National Forum: RDA Gold Coast Biomedical Project

Global drivers of the clinical trial sector are well understood and include emerging markets seeking greater health outcomes, population growth and personalised healthcare. This market is being met by unprecedented investment by the medical technologies and pharmaceutical sector with all new innovations requiring the process of clinical trials. This is a sector that Australia enjoys competitive advantage in due to favourable tax benefits, a strong healthcare system and well-regarded researchers. This presents significant opportunities for Australian cities in attracting clinical trials due to the value it provides in terms of economic benefits, innovation and healthcare outcomes.

Regional Biomedical Supply Chain Development Project Report

The Gold Coast's Biomedical Sector

  • The Gold Coast is the largest regional city in the country for the delivery of clinical trials
  • The sector is expected to grow significantly
  • This is an emerging sector that is growing quickly and has significant value
  • Employment in the sector is expected to more than double over the next ten years and create high value knowledge jobs
  • The Gold Coast region has the opportunity to develop the supply chain to meet projected growth

Assumed Revenue Impacts

For every $10 million in revenue from grants or contracts attracted for trials are:

  • Additional value-added contribution of $8.9 million
  • An output increase of $15.1 million
  • High value knowledge-based jobs are generated
  • 89 local jobs are created

Trials generate economic activity. Over the next decade, the average annual rate of growth for trials on the Gold Coast is expected to be 7%. This will provide a value-add economic contribution of 11%. Currently this direct value add is $8.7 million and this will grow to $24.7 million in 2029 directly to the Gold Coast.

For the period 2014-2019, Gold Coast employment had an average annual rate of growth of 4% with Health Care and Education & Training being 8% and 5% respectively. For the ten years 2019-2029, comparative employment growth in the clinical trials sector is forecast to be 11% annually.

Gold Coast Strengths

Gold Coast Health and Knowledge Precinct

World class research institutes

Size of patient population

Ageing patient population

Ethnically diverse population

Experienced and motivated clinicians

Participant recruitment

Hospital infrastructure (public and private)

Easy to get around the city

Oncology research

Gold Coast lifestyle

Gold Coast Opportunities

Clinical trials sector capability

Dedicated Phase 1 facility

Clinical trials governance structure and strategic planning

Medical tourism

Phase 1 GP clinic

More dedicated spaces for trials

Export of knowledge and services to Asia Pacific region

Talent attraction

Attract additive manufacturing companies

Telehealth/ virtual health

Wearables and apps A

Artificial intelligence

Project Partners

RDA Gold Coast Logo

City of Gold Coast


Queensland Government Logo