Accelerating Australia invited by Finnish government and SPARK Finland to join strategic planning workshop

19 September 2018

Pictured: Accelerating Australia executives Dr Maud Eijkenboom and Prof Michael Wallach with SPARK Finland.

Two Accelerating Australia executives were recently flown to Helsinki to join international MTP commercialisation experts in a two-day strategic planning roundtable. The group worked to identify co-operative opportunities for streamlining the global biomedical innovation ecosystem and enhancing research translation success.

On 6-7 September 2018, Accelerating Australia executives, Dr Maud Eijkenboom and Prof Michael Wallach, joined an international strategic planning roundtable event in Helsinki, Finland, discussing how MTP ecosystems across Europe, Australia and Israel can learn from each other, utilize each other’s strengths and work together to tackle major global healthcare problems. During the workshop in Finland, our Executive Officer presented the business model and philosophy that underpins the success of our consortium. The Accelerating Australia model was well received and plans are underway to incorporate it into the blueprint for a global ecosystem support cooperative. We are very proud to be in a position to facilitate Australia taking advantage of this opportunity, and grateful to MTPConnect for being instrumental in our journey to get to this point.

At the SPARK Global conference in Berlin earlier this year, our Executive Committee member Prof Michael Wallach (University of Technology Sydney, SPARK Oceania) was recognized for his tireless and ongoing commitment to SPARK Global, and Accelerating Australia was represented by multiple Executive Committee members from Melbourne, Sydney and WA. The collaborative and cohesive approach of our members, despite the geographical distances, impressed the SPARK Global partners, resulting in an invitation to join the roundtable in Helsinki, Finland.

Accelerating Australia Executive Officer Dr Maud Eijkenboom said there is a "great appetite to join forces to improve the global biomedical ecosystem."

"It was amazing to discover that across the world, regardless of budgets, biomedical and commercialisation organisations face similar problems," Dr Eijkenboom explained.

"Therefore [it will] boost the ability to create solutions for major health problems across the globe.

"It is obvious that we cannot continue in isolation working on problems that affect us all and diabetes alone is expected to affect 642 million patients worldwide by 2040.

"We propose to build a corridor across and between regions that build on each other’s strengths to fast track new technologies with the potential to solve major health issues.

"There are unnecessary hurdles in our innovation and enterprise ecosystems that can be removed by working together.”

Each country presented a country-based insight on the key challenges and opportunities in life science and health tech sector. What was striking was that the challenges seemed to be amazingly similar and led to the identification of three specific areas upon which the discussion should focus:

  • financing of early stage companies and late stage research at universities and hospitals;
  • educating scientists, clinicians and students in business perspectives; and
  • industry collaboration for strengthening local and regional ecosystems.

Our collaborative work continues and calls for all stakeholders, including industry, investors, academic and clinical societies, policy and decision makers, to join us in the future to make a remarkable leap in the performance of health tech and life science industries to be Better Together.