Victorian Minister for Health Mr David Davis, in conjunction with the Melbourne Convention + Visitors Bureau (MCVB), last night launched Melbourne IQ: The Intelligent Choice for Conferences in the USA at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC.
The Hon. Tanya Plibersek MP, Australian Minister for Health and The Hon. Kim Beazley AC, Australian Ambassador to the US, were also in attendance at the event to lend their support.
Melbourne IQ is a campaign designed to reach out to international associations, highlighting Melbourne’s expertise in a diverse range of fields such as medicine, science, technology, engineering, finance, research and development, confirming its status as Australia’s intellectual capital and the intelligent choice for holding international conferences.
The launch event coincided with the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012) currently being held in Washington, DC, the next Conference of which will be hosted in Melbourne in 2014 at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, and will be the largest medical conference ever held in Australia.
Mr Davis said the launch event was a welcomed opportunity to showcase the scope of Melbourne’s outstanding intellectual capabilities on an international stage.
“Melbourne is home to 263 biotechnology companies, 13 major medical research institutes and seven teaching hospitals, with a robust biotechnology sector that attracts eminent researchers from around the world and it’s fantastic to be able to highlight this here in Washington, DC,” Mr Davis said.
“In addition, the opportunity to preview AIDS 2014 in the height of AIDS 2012, one of the most significant and esteemed conferences in the world, further strengthens Melbourne’s reputation as a leader in knowledge and innovation.”
MCVB Chief Executive Officer, Karen Bolinger, said Melbourne’s combination of intellectual capabilities, world-class infrastructure and ease of accessibility makes it an outstanding international conference destination.
“Melbourne has made its mark on the medical world and the impressive list of international conferences scheduled for the coming years positions our city as a global hub for the world’s best to come together and consult on leading international health, science and research priorities, just to name a few,” Ms Bolinger said.
“Melbourne is not only a world leader in medical research and innovation, we also boast Australia’s highest concentration of convention facilities in the central business district and were rated the world’s most liveable city in 2011 .
“Given these credentials, it’s not surprising that over the next two and a half years, Melbourne will host six of the world’s largest and most prestigious conferences in addition to AIDS 2014, including the World Diabetes Conference in 2013 and the World Congress of Cardiology in 2014.”
MCEC Chief Executive, Peter King, said the Convention Centre’s state-of-the-art facilities and central location sufficiently enhance the city’s reputation as a global conference destination.
“The MCEC is the world’s first ‘Six Star Green Star’ environmentally-rated convention centre and offers the most flexible, integrated and comprehensive meetings facility in the Southern Hemisphere, an ideal choice for any international business event,” Mr King said.
“We look forward to hosting these major pieces of business in the coming years and have exceptional facilities to do so.”
In addition to AIDS 2014, MCVB’s upcoming international conferences to be hosted at the MCEC include the International Conference on Care and Housing for the Ageing (2013), the International Congress of Paediatrics (2013), World Diabetes Congress (2013), World Conference of Cardiology (2014) and the World Cancer Congress (2014).