Building a National MedTech Ideas Incubator

Pictured: Albert Ruiz Vargas, PhD Candidate, Flinders University (wearing Re-Timer glasses, supported by the Medical Device Partnering Program).

Founded in 2008, the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) started as an ideas incubator for the medtech-minded in South Australia. A decade later, the MTPConnect-supported program is expanding into other states and the big, bold ideas for new medical devices continue to flow.

MDPP’s vision is for Australia to become the fastest in the world at taking an idea for a medical device and turning it into a market-ready product.

Led by Flinders University Professor Karen Reynolds, the program helps meet this goal by giving medtech inventors the opportunity to connect their cutting-edge concepts with experts across the nation and use a tested model for early-stage collaboration.

The Program has facilitated a number of workshops around the nation with more than 100 participants including end users, clinicians, manufacturers and IP attorneys, all sharing their real-world experience and expertise on how to meet specific market needs, develop, translate, scale and commercialise.

Fantastic results have come out of the Program in developing new medical devices, streamlining the complex process of bringing new products to market and creating new commercial opportunities for traditional and local manufacturers in South Australia.

Flinders University Manager of Strategy Development and Health Technologies Jo Close says the program is unique as it focuses on the devices’ early stage, and technology development.

“MDPP fills a gap in Australia’s medtech pipeline, working with great ideas and turning them into proven concepts,” Ms Close explained.

“It aligns really nicely to downstream accelerators and business development programs – and collectively we can all work together to accelerate medtech business across the nation.”

MDPP’s approach is increasingly attracting the interest of State Governments looking for new initiatives to unlock medical device development in their jurisdictions. The program recently expanded into Victoria, with support from the Victorian Government and LaunchVic.

Professor Reynolds says her ambition has always been to create a national program.

“With new funding support from MTPConnect we’ll be able to build on our successes in South Australia and pursue the expansion of the MDPP on a national scale,” Professor Reynolds added.

“The support will allow us to formalise partnerships, establish a comprehensive national capability directory and create extensive training materials, with the aim to commence operations of a national MDPP in 2019.”

MDPP predicts that within five years they could see thousands of new ideas coming through the Program, the development of more than 300 product ideas and around 200 new companies formed.

In a sector where Australia is performing ambitiously and punching above its weight globally, the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is well placed to catalyse new innovation in Australia.

For more information, visit MDPP