15 May 2018
MTPConnect – the Australian Government’s Medical Technology, Biotechnology, and Pharmaceutical (MTP) Industry Growth Centre – welcomes the national launch of the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) program, in conjunction with Industry Growth Centres NERA and METSIgnited. Since receiving funding via the MTPConnect Project Fund Program in 2016, IMNIS has evolved from a small pilot program into a prestigious mentoring initiative involving more than 400 people. In 2018, the program aims to recruit 600 participants – 300 PhD students and postdoctoral fellows, and 300 industry leaders to accelerate and support the careers of these young researchers.
In its inaugural year, the IMNIS program brought together early career researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with influential, high-profile industry leaders and prepared them to lead and excel within the STEM ecosystem.
Sue MacLeman, CEO and Managing Director of MTPConnect said that the program has been an exciting step forward to advance Australia’s leading position in STEM.
“It is testament to the fantastic program that IMNIS provides, and its potential to be applied across sectors, that three Industry Growth Centres have partnered with the IMNIS program to provide targeted mentoring in their specific sectors. MTPConnect, METS Ignited and NERA are proud to be playing a part in the national roll-out of the award-winning program that is already playing an important part in helping PhD students transition into the workforce.”
In an exciting milestone for the program, 2018 is the first year that the MedTech-Pharma and the Energy and Minerals Resources participants respectively, will be represented and run in all mainland states, with tailored programs available in Tasmania and the Territories. The program has also provided Australia’s first mentoring program in regenerative medicine involving offshore mentors pilot.
IMNIS is a flagship initiative of the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE). ATSE President Professor Hugh Bradlow said: “Of all the OECD countries, Australia ranks lowest on industry engagement so this project is vital. We need to develop a new generation of PhD graduates who understand that there are important and exciting career opportunities in industry as well as in research organisations.
“It is also vital that those who do choose a research career are capable of industry engagement and collaboration. I’d like to thank the senior industry executives who volunteer their time and expertise. IMNIS provides mentors the opportunity to shape the next generation of Australian industry as well as extend their professional network, and give back to the STEM community.”
IMNIS Executive Director Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea said: “IMNIS fosters a transformational culture-shift across the broader STEM ecosystem through mentoring. Over the past year we have established a diverse, inclusive network that fosters a culture of collaboration and innovation. As part of our growth, IMNIS is proud to launch Australia’s first International Mentoring Pilot in Regenerative Medicine with our new partner CCRM Australia.”