In Case You Missed It: Here's what the MTPConnect team has been up to in July

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02 August 2019

Pictured: University of Wollongong Professor Gordon Wallace welcoming attendees to the TRICEP workshop.

Australian British Health Catalyst (ABHC) Conference

MTPConnect Managing Director & CEO Dr Dan Grant attended the ABHC conference earlier this month, where the theme was integrated healthcare in a digital world. Leaders from the Australian and UK MTP sectors came together in London and Cambridge to explore the challenges for future healthcare delivery, cyber security, big data and how to leverage returns on our innovations. Dan joined Bronwyn Le Grice from ANDHealth, Professor Christine Bennett, Dean of the School of Medicine at WA’s University of Notre Dame and Laurie Powers Freeling from Cambridge University Health Partners in a panel discussion to flesh out opportunities for researchers and start-ups in the commercialisation of healthcare.

BioMedTech Horizons program

Applications for the next $10 million tranche of the $45 million BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program closed for expressions of interest in mid-July. MTPConnect received very strong interest, with nearly 100 applications submitted from all around Australia across the four therapeutic areas: Cardiovascular, Orthopaedics, Ophthalmology and Emergency Medicine & Trauma. Watch this space for more details.

Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program

The BTB program opened for EOIs on 1 July and is running for another two weeks, until 16 August. If you’re interested, ensure you register your proposed project by the deadline.

GC Project Update

Bridge and BridgeTech – QUT

In May, QUT launched the third cohort of the Bridge program and also ran the residential component of the second BridgeTech cohort. Dr Grant presented at both events and took the opportunity to discuss opportunities for mid-career researchers to take advantage of the funding on offer through the BTB and BMTH programs. The QUT Bridge and BridgeTech programs are education partners in the BTB offering.

The Actuator – supporting MedTech start-ups

The Actuator project finished this quarter and has substantially impacted the sector. They have:

  • Placed 24 startups into the portfolio;
  • Enabled the deployment of $17 million of committed capital through the investment ecosystem;
  • Helped their startups curate average angel-stage funding of $700,000 each;
  • Primed three startups for exit;
  • Launched a new clinical angel investment and community platform;
  • Trained over 1,000 innovators;
  • Created 55 new jobs;
  • Built a partner network of more than 75 partners; and
  • Expanded activities into Singapore, India and South Korea.

COSA – Launching cancer tele-trials in Australia

The MTPConnect-sponsored project, to assist COSA in Pilot Implementation of the Australasian Tele-Trial Model, is achieving good results. To date, six tele-trial clusters have been established in Queensland, three in NSW and two in Victoria. Four tele-trials are open with twenty patients recruited and another six tele-trials are pending. A tele-trial working group has been convened within National Mutual Acceptance and work is underway to genericise the tele-trial SOPs and tele-trials subcontract developed by Queensland Health and COSA into national documents. The working group will also work with insurers to address cross jurisdictional issues and public private partnerships thereby paving the way for the development of uniform tele-trial processes within Australia.

Building Effective Translational Facilities Workshop

Invitation to present and participate in the “Building Effective Translational Facilities Workshop” organised by Prof Gordon Wallace at University of Wollongong. Invitation-only event to members and partners to tour and discuss the Translational Research Initiative for Cellular Engineering and Printing (TRICEP). This facility was partly funded by an MTPConnect project fund grant in 2018 (BioPrint Facility for Translational Science and Medicine in the MTP sector). Presenters included Rui Amandi de Sousa, from Stemmatters (an international SME partner); Andrew Batty, Lincoln Consulting Group; Buzz Palmer, Medtech Actuator; Pia Winberg, Venus Shell Systems; Cameron Ferris, from Inventia Life. Workshop focused on addressing a variety of issues around optimising the operations and impact of TRICEP (building awareness, strategies for developing a QMS, attracting and retaining staff, navigating and evolving the university-facility relationship, and developing an appropriate business model).

New Staff Additions

We are excited to welcome three new fantastic members of the MTPConnect team. Libby Pearce has joined us as Executive Officer Special Projects, Dr Kate Brooks has been appointed as our new Director of Stakeholder Engagement in Western Australia to start on 12 August, and in September, Lauren Kelly will commence as Director of the BTB program.