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

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06 July 2020

Pictured (L-R): MTPConnect Senior Director Stakeholder Engagement Dr Rebecca Tunstall, MTPConnect MD & CEO Dr Dan Grant, MTPConnect Senior Director BMTH Dr Gerard Gibbs, with Health Horizon CEO & Co-Founder Marcus Dawe, CIMIT COO Dr John Collins and OncoRes Medical MD & CEO Dr Kath Giles in the webinar: ‘Charting your Course – Commercialising Health Innovations’.


To boost Australia’s COVID-19 research efforts, we launched a rapid round of our Biomedical Translation Bridge program specifically targeting COVID-19 projects, with expressions of interest closed this month. We will provide up to $1 million to support eligible organisations 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. We saw extremely strong interest from the sector and decisions will be announced soon.

COVID-19 Impact Reports Launched

We recently undertook research, in partnership with L.E.K. Consulting, to examine ways in which the pandemic lockdown has affected organisations across the different parts of the MTP sector’s value chain. In June, we published those findings in the MTPConnect COVID-19 Impact Report, revealing the first evidence of the lockdown’s significant negative impacts across the sector, including hits to company values, the shutdown of clinical trials and the drying-up of capital to sustain R&D projects. The report also highlights that the MTP sector’s role has never been more important in driving Australia’s pandemic response and recovery and protecting the health of Australians. A supplementary report, Collaborating in the Public Interest: How Australia's Medical Technology Sector, published in collaboration with the Medical Technology Association of Australia, documents how our medtech sector joined with the Australian Government to fight COVID-19 and details the behind-the-scenes story of that unique collaboration that’s become known as the ‘Australia Model’ and is now being replicated by many countries around the world.

Our Partners are REDI to Tackle Workforce Skills Gaps

We launched our $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative, a four-year program to enhance our sector’s workforce. First up, we’ve partnered with training, mentoring, internship, entrepreneurship and incubator organisations to support expansion of their proven training programs to deliver deeper impact by addressing known skills gaps. Great to welcome on board APR.Intern, ANDHealth, The Bridge and BridgeTech Programs, The George Institute for Global Health, The VCCC, IMNIS, MDPP and the MedTech Actuator.

Future Workforce Skills Survey Launched

We sought feedback to the MTP Workforce Skills Survey, which was developed by a cross-industry project team including ANDHealth, AusBiotech, Medicines Australia and MTAA. We hope to analyse the survey results to identify the skills gaps in our future MTP workforce.

Asialink Webinar in WA

Earlier this month, Dan joined a webinar organised by Asialink Business and City of Perth, to discuss how WA medtech and pharma companies could explore opportunities in Asia. Dan highlighted our reports published in partnership with Asialink Business on the market potential in India and Indonesia, available on our website.

Seminar Series: Exploring the Pathway to Commercialisation Success

MTPConnect continues to support collaboration throughout the sector with various sponsorships and virtual events to keep us connected. We held another of our ‘Seminar Series’ webinars, ‘Charting your Course – Commercialising Health Innovations’ featuring CIMIT’s Chief Operating Officer John Collins from Boston USA, Health Horizon Founder & CEO Mathew McGann and OncoRes Medical CEO and Managing Director Dr Kate Giles. The webinar was re-produced as an episode in our MTPConnect podcast series. Our next ‘Seminar Series’ webinar will explore the Frontiers of Biomechanics and Human Movement later in July.

Podcast Highlights Innovations in Australian Science

Our virtual podcast studio has been travelling near and far to bring you some great stories. We caught up with Dr Keith Chappell and Professor Trent Munro from UQ’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology for a progress report on their COVID-19 vaccine work that has the whole world watching. We heard about Therapeutic Innovation Australia’s national research facilities supporting COVID-19 research and explored the frontier of sports science and biomechanics with UWA’s Associate Professor Jaqueline Alderson.

The Guest of The Chair Opened for Applications

MTPConnect thanked Prof Parisa Glass from the George Institute for her contribution as inaugural Guest of the Chair, and called for applications for the position for the next 12 months.

Staff News

We welcomed Dr Erin McAllum to the MTPConnect team as Project Manager for the BioMedTech Horizons program. Erin comes to us from the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health where she led a research program into dementia and Parkinson’s disease. In other news, we will farewell Dr Kate Brooks from our WA team at the end of July as she takes up another role. Kate has made an enormous impact on our WA hub and will be missed by all. Kate’s departure creates a great opportunity in our WA office. Check out our website for more information about the role of Director Stakeholder Engagement for WA - applications close Friday 17 July 2020.