MTPConnect to fund DMTC project for Artificial Intelligence-assisted deep dive into health biosecurity capability

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06 April 2022

Pictured: MTPConnect Chair Sue MacLeman makes the announcement at a Health Security Systems Australia meeting "AMR: From Acknowledgement to Action" in Canberra.

MTPConnect has announced it is funding a new project with DMTC Limited to provide a picture of the capability and capacity of Australia’s health biosecurity ecosystem. This will include end-to-end supply chains and workforce.

Leveraging funding for MTPConnect from the Australian Government, the project will use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to create a comprehensive digital database of sovereign capability and capacity in the health biosecurity sector.

MTPConnect Interim CEO Stuart Dignam says Antimicrobial Resistance will be the initial focus of the project.

“MTPConnect’s new project with DMTC will examine Australia’s capability and capacity for research, development, manufacturing, supply chain resilience and distribution of priority products and solutions that contribute to national health security,” Mr Dignam said.

“The project, which will have matching funding from DMTC, will start with Antimicrobial Resistance – AMR. This will mean we can pilot these new approaches, leveraging the latest AI, machine learning and data scraping techniques to augment our existing knowledge base.

“It’s all about knowing what’s out there so we can more accurately build preparedness and response plans for future threats,” Mr Dignam said.

Head of Health Security for DMTC, Dr Leigh Farrell said the work will see an evolution of the National Health Security Resilience Assessment, managed by DMTC’s Health Security Systems Australia, to create an AI-enabled health security database.

“Previous surveys on Australia’s health security sector capability and supply chains have been incredibly useful in identifying capability and gaps, however, they have only provided point-in-time snapshots of the health security sector maturity,” Dr Farrell said.

“By using resources and expertise of both organisations and our delivery partners, we’ll now be able to move beyond surveys. We will be able to develop a dynamic and truly digital database that is actively curated. It will provide a more complete view of the ecosystem and the supply chain.

“It will also provide better line of sight for government agencies and stakeholders.”

“The enhanced NHSRD will enable future collaborations between government, industry and the research sector,” Dr Farrell said.

The funding provided by the Australian Government is part of its commitment to developing supply chain resilience and sovereign manufacturing capability. This includes the six National Manufacturing Priority sectors, which medical products is one of, with the Medical Products National Manufacturing Priority Road Map identifying diagnostics as a growth opportunity.

The news was announced today by MTPConnect Chair Sue MacLeman at a Health Security Systems Australia meeting "AMR: From Acknowledgement to Action" held in Canberra.

MTPConnect’s focus on AMR includes establishing and leading the Australian Antimicrobial Resistance Network (AAMRNet) - a multi-stakeholder expert group formed to address the impact of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on human health.