Updated on 18 April 2013
The "Board Enhancement" project, which has just commenced, was designed to support and enhance the governance of Boards of Directors leading life sciences companies, with two documents. In addition to the ‘best practice' message that the project's resulting documents will provide to investors and others, it also, very importantly, seeks to support and build the capability and understanding of less experienced directors or those new to life sciences. Providing clear guidelines assists the company executive by reinforcing the necessary steps that the company and its Directors will need to consider in its responsibilities. What is well appreciated is that innovative, technically-focussed companies in the life science sector have different pressures, such as mandatory regulatory considerations and a different business cycle than many other industries. Therefore, directors of such companies do require additional knowledge, not generally learnt from available materials or taught in mainstream governance courses.
In partnership with the Victorian Government, the ASX, venture capitalists and company CEOs and chairs, the project will have two prongs (resulting in the two documents). While the first part will see update/improve and reproduce a Code of Best Practice for use by innovative life science companies; part two will produce a practical guide for directors of public and private life sciences companies. With 2013 looming as another challenging year on the economic front, and will include the uncertainty created by an election, the biotechnology industry pins its hopes on the vision and commitment of our country's policy makers and their will and capability for nation-building leadership. It also pins its hopes on the proven ability to attract overseas investment and to develop technology to a stage that represents value and opportunity for partners and ultimately the community.