Following a multi-billion investment in Adelaide’s medical research sector the city is soon to become one of the top destinations for medical professionals.
“Adelaide’s BioMed City, as the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, provides a distinct advantage in attracting health and life science conferences,” says Damien Kitto, CEO of the Adelaide Convention Bureau.
“With the majority of this genre of events being Association related, we’ve been able to successfully align and partner with local contacts based in the BioMedical Research Precinct – specifically in SAHMRI (South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute).”
Adelaide hosted 45 events attracting some Further along Adelaide’s North Terrace, the $2.3 billion new Royal Adelaide Hospital is nearing completion, with the first patients expected to be treated there before the end of the year.
Already home to SAHMRI, BioMed City is also set to include SAHMRI 2, which will house 500 researchers over 12 levels, and the new $600 million Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
“The BioMed precinct will address current and future capacity constraints and surging demand in the healthcare system by improving the volume and quality of health care services; training unprecedented numbers of healthcare professionals and providing a focal point for research of international calibre into the most serious chronic illnesses,” says Steve Wesselingh, executive director at SAHMRI.
“Through collaboration, the Precinct will encourage seamless interaction between students, researchers, teachers, doctors and patients to give state-of-the-art health care while supporting top quality teaching and world class research.”
Wesselingh also adds that having the three universities, CSIRO, SAHMRI researchers and clinicians working in such close proximity, with cutting edge equipment including South Australia’s first cyclotron to manufacture radioisotopes for clinical use and medical research, will support clinical trials and help turn research into cures.
“It will accelerate the transformation of medical research ideas from the bench to bedside,” he says.
Having recently signed a commercial agreement with Dr Jones and Partners, South Australia’s diagnostic leading imaging specialists, Wesselingh says that the partnership will move SAHMRI into a new direction of commercialisation with industry partners to create a facility that will benefit our researchers.
“But equally as important, it will ultimately improve the treatment and diagnosis of patients, meaning better health outcomes for the community.”
SAHMRI is also currently collaborating with a number of international projects, ranging from a cardiology trial with Brazil to a mental health project in Dresden.
“We are also continuing to attract research stars from overseas, which is very encouraging considering we have only been fully operational for only two and a half years,” says Wesselingh.
Chelsea Prangnell, manager at The Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) and senior association manager at International Conference Services, was one of the international visitors who attended a BioMed famil in June.
Following the trip, Prangnell says that they are considering using the Adelaide Convention Centre for a future annual congress, which ranges from 1200-1600 people depending on location.
Kylie Sandy-Hodgetts, deputy chair of Wounds Australia, has recently confirmed that the Wounds Australia Conference 2018 will be held in Adelaide; the decision was made following the Bio-Med famil.
“I was impressed to see how close the world class facilities are such as the SAHMRI, Convention Centre and the Universities, all within walking distance of each other as well as hotel accommodation if you are from out of town,” says Sandy-Hodgetts.
In addition, Adelaide’s unique setting proved to be “highly conducive for networking with colleagues, particularly from a conference delegate perspective and provides state of the art conferencing facilities”.
Wounds Australia, an organisation that has a diverse membership from differing health care professions, is expected to welcome close to 1000 local and international delegates to the conference.
Some of the factors that influenced the decision to appoint Adelaide as their host city were the “outstanding features of the new Biomed precinct and the ease of access for delegates to the conference facilities and accommodation, all in walking distance”.
“Adelaide has so much to offer conference delegates; first class conference facilities and accommodation right in the centre of town as well as local cuisine and world famous wines only a 20 minute drive from the city,” she says.