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

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07 April 2021

Pictured (L-R): MTPConnect Director Stakeholder Engagement QLD Andrew Bowskill with UQ’s Dr Lisette Pregelj, CardiHab’s Helen Souris, CSIRO’s Dr Rob Grenfell ANDHealth’s Bronwyn Le Grice and TGA’s Tracey Duffy online during the March Seminar.

Experts Discuss Adaptive Regulation for Digital Health at March Seminar Event

Our March seminar series event “Adaptive regulation for digital health technologies - a pathway for industry” saw an expert panel draw a large audience to discuss how digital health industry stakeholders are engaging with the Australian therapeutic goods regulatory framework. Important insights were shared by the TGA’s Tracey Duffy, UQ’s Dr Lisette Pregelj, ANDHealth’s Bronwyn Le Grice, CSIRO’s Dr Rob Grenfell and CardiHab’s Helen Souris. The session is available on our website as a video on demand and a podcast episode. Highly recommended for start-ups and innovators developing digital health technologies.

BMTH Funding Boost for Medical Devices

The fourth round of our $45 million BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program announced was announced by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Hon. Greg Hunt MP. The $3.2 million funding opportunity is available to support the research and development of medical devices as they enter human clinical trials and early stage manufacturing. Expressions of interest close on Monday, 19 April 2021 at 5:00pm AEST and details on how to apply can be found at the MTPConnect website.

REDI Publishes Second Skills Gap Report

With jobs and economic growth in sharp focus, we released the second of three REDI reports examining skills gaps in our sector’s workforce. The report - Driving skills development and workforce training for the future MTP workforce - identifies 20 priority gaps. The report is based upon research carried out in the second half of 2020 in partnership with L.E.K. Consulting and involved engagement with more than 200 stakeholders from across the MTP sector. It also incorporates the findings of the workforce skills and capacity review undertaken by MTPConnect in July 2020.

REDI Calls for More Training Proposals for Skills Gaps

Based on the findings of the just released  second skills gaps report, our REDI team opened a second Request for Proposals for training and/or education programs to address two key skills gaps:

  • Identifying unmet market need and understanding the clinical context
  • Ability to secure investment, funding and/or industry collaboration.

An information session was held and is available as a video on-demand. Submissions closed at 5:00pm AEST on Friday, 9 April 2021.

REDI Appoints ARCS Australia and SeerPharma to Deliver Skills Gap Training

MTPConnect announced that ARCS Australia and Seer Pharma will deliver new programs addressing key skills gaps in the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector workforce.

TTRA Research Outcomes Coming Soon

Under our Targeted Translation Research Accelerator (TTRA) initiative, submissions for expressions of interest to create two new Research Centres closed this month. One research centre will be supported to study diabetes-associated complications and the other to study cardiovascular disease-associated complications. Each centre will receive up to $10 million over four years. EOIs also closed for the first round of TTRA Research Projects. Stay tuned later this year for the announcement of funding recipients.

MTPConnect Goes to Canberra

MTPConnect supported the ‘Science Meets Parliament’ Conference from Science and Technology Australia, including the National Press Club by incoming Chief Scientist, Dr Cathy Foley AO PSM. The event provided a great opportunity to position science and broader STEM issues at the centre of the national policy debate. Dr Foley’s address titled ‘What next for science and research in Australia?’ focused on how we collaborate to solve humankind’s greatest challenges and addressed the importance of translating and commercialising Australia’s research. Prior to Dr Foley’ address, Sue MacLeman delivered the opening remarks to a room packed with STEM leaders and both the Minister and Shadow Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Sue reflected on how our sector is well-positioned to generate the much-needed, post-pandemic “tech bump”’ and play a key role in building Australia’s sovereign capabilities and supply chain resilience necessary to address future public health crises.

MTPConnect Supports the Medicinal Cannabis Industry Premier Conference

MTPConnect’s Senior Director Stakeholder Engagement Dr Rebecca Tunstall and Director Stakeholder Engagement NSW Dr Duncan Macinnis joined MCIA Chair Peter Crock and Epilepsy Action Australia’s National Service Manager Lisa Todd on a panel at the ACannabis EVOLVE Conference to talk about the roadblocks and opportunities for the growing industry.

BTB Awardees Making Headlines

With support from MTPConnect’s BTB program, Melbourne-based biotech Starpharma has launched its antiviral nasal spray VIRALEZE™ into the UK via a large national pharmacy chain to support COVID-19 efforts. Dimerix is in preparation to join a COVID-19 pneumonia study across Europe with its lead clinical drug candidateDMX-200, a new treatment being developed for respiratory complications resulting from COVID-19.

BMTH News: WearOptimo’s Microwearable Heads into Production

WearOptimo announced this month that it has secured a new $30 million deal to manufacture its microwearable sensor health technology at an advanced technology facility in Brisbane - for worldwide distribution. Since 2018, MTPConnect has supported the development of WearOptimo’s microwearable device into an enterprise through our BioMedTech Horizons program

BMTH News: Funding Advances Clinical Program for Bionic Vision Technologies’ Bionic Eye

Melbourne-based medical technology start-up Bionic Vision Technologies (BVT) has started work on the next phase of development for its world-leading Australian bionic eye technology thanks to a recent funding boost from Round 3 of our BioMedTech Horizons program.

REDI News: IMNIS Launches New Catalyst Program

This With REDI support, the Academy of Technology and Engineering (ATSE) announced it is building on its  successful industry engagement program - the Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) - by launching IMNIS Catalyst, an alumni program. - Catalyst will provide the opportunity for past mentees to engage more broadly throughout the STEM ecosystem to inspire and engage the next generation.

Dan Talks on the Record about the Medical  Products Roadmap

MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO Dr Dan Grant was a guest on Grant Thornton’s podcast series ‘Navigating the New Normal’. Dan talks with Grant Thornton’s Michael Cunningham, National Head of Life Sciences, about the implications and opportunities of the Australian Government’s recently released National Manufacturing Priority road map for Medical Products .

Sharing Inspiring Stories Through Our Podcast

This month we shared inspiration and good news from the MTP sector via our podcast and social platforms including stories about Starpharma’s antiviral nasal spray (a Biomedical Translation Bridge program awardee), WearOptimo’s $30 million production deal (BMTH awardee) and a chat with the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources about funding opportunities through the Modern Manufacturing Initiative. We also featured a podcast discussion with ANDHealth’s Bronwyn Le Grice and BMTH awardee Macuject’s Founder Dr Devinder Chauhan about the REDI-supported bespoke ANDHealth training programs designed to build commercialisation capabilities for founders in the rapidly growing digital health space.

Artrya Shines in the WA Spotlight

The MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation hub wrapped up another Sector Spotlight event in Perth, with a full-house at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research listening to presentations from digital start-up Artrya’s co-founders John Konstantopoulos and John Barrington AM.