In Case You Missed It: Here's What The MTPConnect Team Has Been Up To in May

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04 June 2020

Pictured: Linear Clinical Research Clinical Solutions Lead Dougal Thring presenting at the Australia Live Talk Session as part of BioKorea 2020.


We are pleased to directly support COVID-19 efforts with the launch of a rapid round of our Biomedical Translation Bridge program - specifically targeting COVID-19 research. BTB will provide up to $1 million of matched funding to support eligible organisations - small and medium enterprises, medical research institutes and universities - to develop medical devices, diagnostics, prophylactic or therapeutic approaches that will achieve an impact on the global response to the pandemic in less than 12 months. The COVID-19 round closed on Monday, 1 June 2020. Visit the BTB page to learn more.

MTPConnect 2020 Seminar Series Goes Online

In May, we launched a new webinar platform taking our ‘Seminar Series’ online for our first virtual event, ‘MTP guide to cyber safety’. Our fellow Industry Growth Centre, AustCyber’s CEO Michelle Price, Perx Health’s CEO & Co-Founder Hugo Rourke and Forticode’s CEO Tony Smales joined the discussion, providing their insights about the intersection of health and cyber. If you missed the discussion the webinar is now available as a bonus podcast episode. The next instalment, set for 30 June, will focus on commercialising innovation and feature Dr John Collins from Boston-based CIMIT (Consortia for improving Medicine with Innovation and Technology) and Health Horizon CEO & Co-Founder Mathew McGann. You can register here.

BioKorea 2020 Goes Virtual

This month, Austrade pivoted to organise its first virtual trade mission to BioKorea 2020 with its Australian pavilion. The MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub took a group of leading WA biotech companies into the Australian pavilion to showcase their innovations, and we spoke to Austrade’s Senior Trade Commissioner Julie Quin and some of the WA companies involved for our podcast. It highlights the importance of international engagement and alliances, as we start to emerge from the COVID-19 health emergency.

Sector Supported Events

MTPConnect is continuing to support collaboration throughout the sector with various sponsorships and virtual events. For the clinical trials community, we sponsored ARCS Australia’s 10 part webinar series “COVID19 considerations and strategies for running trials during the pandemic” and PRAXIS Australia’s 2020 webinar series “Building Resilience in times of COVID-19”. We supported Cicada Innovations Monthly Buzz event on ‘What’s Next in Digital Health’ and the Quantum TX event in Perth with a live stream event “Investing In Digital Health” Masterclass for the Angel Investing Series 2020 with the Perth Angels.

Podcast Reaches 10,000 Downloads

Our virtual podcast studio has been busy across the month of May, spotlighting Microscopy Australia’s Technical Voucher Fund and discussing BioKorea 2020’s virtual convention program. We celebrated International Clinical Trials Day 2020 and Dr Paul Griffin from Nucleus Network and Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services in Brisbane told the podcast about starting the first COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial in Australia. We also spoke with Queensland-based Artificial Intelligence start-up DataRWE about using real-world data to improve healthcare research in Australia. Thanks to all of you who listen in to the stories from our sector because you have helped the MTPConnect podcast hit 10,000 downloads - a fantastic milestone.

Rolling Out REDI

Another positive development for our sector is the imminent roll out of our $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative to drive workforce growth in our sector. To deliver this MRFF-funded program, we are partnering with eight research, training and industry organisations to deploy an integrated, three-pillar plan driving skills development and workforce training that brings together researchers, clinicians, industry and the entrepreneurial ecosystem. This will include an assessment of our infectious diseases capabilities and the health workforce required for future pandemic preparedness. More to come on this soon.

2020 SCP Released

We released our 2020 Sector Competitiveness Plan earlier in May, providing a pre-COVID snapshot of the advances made by our sector up until 31 December 2019. And while the sector had shown a strong upward trajectory to that point, we know it’s being tested now like never before. This is why we spent the month reaching out to many leaders across the sector to get a first-hand understanding of the impacts of the pandemic and responses. These consultations will inform a series of special COVID-19 impact reports, the first of which will be released a little later this month.