Training the Next Generation of MedTech and Pharma Leaders

Pictured (L to R): Dr Maud Eijkenboom (Executive Officer, Accelerating Australia), Dr Dan Grant (CEO, MTPConnect) and Dr Carolyn Williams (CEO, CERI, Lead Accelerating Australia organisation) at the CERI premises in Nedlands, WA.

Accelerating Australia is well into its next phase of the project, which gives entrepreneurs, business professionals and start-ups the skills they need to translate and commercialise their biomedical ideas. The project, supported by MTPConnect and joined by over 30 representatives from both academia and industry, develops and coaches the next generation of MTP leaders.

The team at Accelerating Australia is training participants across four states on how to identify unmet healthcare needs, create biomedical technology concepts, develop early stage business cases and progress the development of technology concepts towards preclinical proof of concept under the guidance of experienced medical technology and pharmaceutical industry mentors.

Accelerating Australia courses such as SPARK, Biodesign and those provided by the Centre for Entrepreneurial Innovation (CERI) focus on building the confidence of innovators about their ability to develop quality medical technology by clarifying the commercialisation pathway, providing experiential training environments, establishing teams and connecting innovators to experts and mentors in the ecosystem.

Building on the momentum developed in Stage 1 and with MTPConnect funding, the numbers of members, people trained, augmenting courses with international knowledge and supporting the translation with commercialisation advisory sessions are growing.

Accelerating Australia’s Executive Officer, Dr Maud Eijkenboom says the programs run through this stage are giving the participants a wealth of experience and knowledge to build on.

"MTPConnect and its support has been essential for Accelerating Australia to provide biomedical researchers, clinicians, engineers and business professionals across Australia the right skill sets to navigate the early stages of medical innovation and enterprise,” she says.

“As a result, we are seeing high-functioning, multidisciplinary teams passionately focused on solving health problems in our country and learning how to create business opportunities that have both a health impact and an economic benefit.

“We envision a future in which Australia is known for its thriving biomedical innovation and enterprise ecosystem, empowering efficient and effective flow from idea generation through to the creation of substantial health benefits for Australians and patients all over the world.”

Australia is a top global player when it comes to medical research, and as a result of this work Accelerating Australia aims to grow the number of quality MTP inventions and technologies from which patients can benefit. In addition, the project is contributing to the growth of the MTP ecosystem by training the future leadership for MTP innovation and enterprise.

In these first few months of the Stage 2 project achieved:

  • 33 members (including affiliate members) across the country in the healthcare, university and life sciences industry sectors;
  • Representation across four states in Australia (VIC, NSW, SA and WA);
  • Sourced world renown courses and adapted to Australia providing a true biomedical entrepreneurial experience in a safe testing ground (including entrepreneurial mindset programs from the Ice House program, MedTech courses based on the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign program and drug development programs based on the SPARK Stanford program)
  • The first Australian researcher – Dr Matt Oldakowski – was sponsored to be trained in the Global Faculty in Training program at Stanford.
  • 140 people participated in Accelerating Australia’s MTP innovation and entrepreneurship training in Australia
  • 10 free commercialisation advisory sessions were conducted;
  • Two launch events, 11 commercialisation seminars and one national presentation were held;
  • $200,000 was invested in SPARK Monash projects.

Visit Accelerating Australia to learn more.