16 June 2020
MTPConnect is launching the $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative, working in collaboration with eight leading industry and research partners: ANDHealth, APR.Intern, the Bridge and BridgeTech programs, IMNIS, Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), MedTech Actuator, the George Institute for Global Health and the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC).
MTPConnect is working with these partners to implement a three-pillar plan across four years to:
- Deliver systemic improvement to Australia’s MTP workforce by providing industry experiences and skills development for researchers, clinicians and innovators
- Develop an industry-ready workforce with the skills necessary to keep pace with a rapidly changing sector
- Provide a skills development blueprint across the MTP value chain through a ‘root and branch’ skills gap analysis
- Create new training, mentoring and industry placements over the life of the program
MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant welcomed the partners and the program associates working on the Steering Committee, including Research Australia, CSL, Innovative Manufacturing CRC, Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry Reference Committee, the University of NSW and the NSW Office of Health and Medical Research.
“Now more than ever we need to focus on securing jobs in our sector and make sure we are supporting the development of our future workforce. Our REDI partners are best placed to help us deliver this integrated program and we are excited to see the power of this collaboration unfold,” said Dr Grant.
MedTech Actuator CEO, Dr Buzz Palmer, explained that REDI will build on the programs that the accelerator already delivers.
“As a REDI partner we’ll be able to build Australia’s commercialisation capacity – and with it the jobs of the future – by applying our proven approach to accelerating and de-risking MedTech commercialisation to Australian biotech and healthtech innovators,” Dr Palmer said.
“As a result of the REDI program, these innovators will now have the opportunity to participate in both our flagship accelerator program and our early-stage, entrepreneurship program.”
QUT Executive Director Professor Lyn Griffith said with the support of REDI both of their existing programs, the Bridge and BridgeTech programs will, expand Fellowship opportunities.
“QUT and its largest research organisation, the Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI), are committed to advancing life sciences research and the skills and capabilities of life science researchers and scientists,” Professor Griffith explained.
“The Bridge and BridgeTech Programs, facilitated and hosted by QUT, are nation-wide collaborative commercialisation training programs and with the support of REDI we’ll be extending our current programs and industry partnerships to include and develop national and international Fellowships under a new industry-enhanced internship program.
“This will support the REDI initiative to drive skills, networks and integration via industry placements, fellowships and internships and assist early stage, mid-career and distinguished researchers and medical technology and pharmaceutical professionals to gain industry experience and insight.”
ANDHealth Founder and CEO Bronwyn Le Grice said that REDI continues their commitment to supporting evidence-based, early-stage and scale-up digital health companies.
“One of ANDHealth’s strengths is in harnessing the power of the collective and we look forward to continuing to expand our operations alongside the REDI program over the next four years,” Ms Le Grice added.
“Through REDI we’ll deliver an integrated series of programs in multiple states to support Australian digital health companies’ commercialisation strategies.
“The series comprises highly practical one-day and three-day BRIGHT Future for Digital Health programs and an internationally unique five-day digital health commercialisation Masterclass. We are proud to continue working with MTPConnect, a key supporting partner of ANDHealth.”
Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) Director, Professor Karen Reynolds, said they “are delighted to partner with MTPConnect to deliver REDI”.
“REDI enables MDPP to be accessible to innovators nationally,” Professor Reynolds commented.
“MDPP fosters collaborations between researchers, industry, end-users and government to develop novel medical devices with global market potential. Helping to facilitate the links between clinical need and knowledge to technical expertise and industry know-how has never been more important than right now in Australia for the medical device sector.
“The MDPP is excited to assist in the creation of medical device start-ups and capture our national capabilities in the sector over the next six months.”
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) will coordinate the REDI program’s clinical trials talent pipeline, creating internship opportunities for students from scientific disciplines and providing training for roles of high demand.
“VCCC clinical partners and collaborators, as well as our education connections, are well placed to develop career pathways for students to access on-the-job training and build role-specific experience and skills in a rapidly advancing sector,” VCCC Executive Director Professor Grant McArthur said.
“Our pilot interns have done extremely well, with 100 per cent employed, full-time in the sector, on completion of the program. We will capitalise on these learnings and extend delivery of the internships, increasing the number of places available, in addition to clinical sites and tertiary partners involved.”
Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) CEO, Kylie Walker, said they will utilise the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) program to “invest in Australia’s future”.
“ATSE is committed to the REDI initiative which closely aligns with our vision to apply excellence in STEM to solving the big issues facing our nation in a fast-changing world. This requires innovative, collaborative leaders of tomorrow,” Ms Walker added.
“Through IMNIS, we bring a high calibre network of esteemed Fellows and industry leaders who are investing in Australia’s future workforce. In the next six months, IMNIS will engage mentors and mentees from a broader range of ‘job growth’ areas, such as regenerative medicine, gene and cell therapies and digital health technologies.
“IMNIS will develop a formal alumni program to ensure mentees who have completed the program can continue to engage and stay connected. Importantly, IMNIS will also host a Leaders Forum to facilitate networking and express our gratitude in volunteering their time and expertise.”
The George Institute for Global Health Deputy Director Dr Parisa Glass added that the Institute is pleased to be involved in the REDI initiative.
“The George Institute believes that collaboration between research, government and industry is the most powerful tool we have in tackling health challenges,” Dr Glass said.
“By leveraging our global health expertise and commitment to impact through commercialisation, we will work with REDI partners to create and strengthen entrepreneurship and training initiatives.
“Over the next six months we will expand and deliver Health10x, our national health accelerator program, and identify skills gaps within the health and medical research sector.
“The George is proud to be a REDI partner, and this initiative will bring Australia to the forefront of health innovation.”
Through the REDI Steering Committee, we will be collaborating with industry leaders as key program associates. These include Research Australia, CSL, Innovative Manufacturing CRC, Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry Reference Committee, the University of NSW and the NSW Office of Health and Medical Research.
The REDI initiative is funded through the Medical Research Future Fund and further information is available here.