In Case You Missed It: Here's What The MTPConnect Team Has Been up to in April

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16 May 2022

Photo: MTPConnect's new CEO Stuart Dignam made the opening remarks at the launch of the Bridge Program 2022

Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP) launched

MTPConnect launched an updated Sector Competitiveness Plan (SCP), tracking the growth of innovation, productivity and competitiveness of Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector. As well as examining the sector’s performance in 2020 and 2021, this SCP provided a progress report at the halfway point of the 10-year plan outlined in MTPConnect’s first SCP in 2016. The 2022 SCP, prepared in partnership with L.E.K. Consulting, showed growth across all key economic, commercial, and R&D metrics, with particular strength in job creation.

MTPConnect Appoints New CEO 

Mr Stuart Dignam has been appointed as MTPConnect's new Chief Executive Officer. Mr Dignam, formerly Chief Operating Officer, had been serving in the role of Interim CEO since 31 January 2022. He joined MTPConnect in August 2018 and has played an integral role in building the organisation and helping design and develop its funding programs and new initiatives. MTPConnect Chair, Sue MacLeman, said Mr Dignam's appointment supports continuity and the expansion of activities currently underway, and reinforces the organisation’s strategic direction.

MTPConnect Funds DMTC Project for AI-assisted Deep Dive into Health Biosecurity Capability
MTPConnect 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. 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 - focusing initially on Antimicrobial Resistance.

Developing an Action Plan to Build Sovereign Manufacturing Capability in Diagnostic Tests
MTPConnect secured funding from the Australian Government to develop a national Action Plan for building end-to-end sovereign manufacturing capability for diagnostic tests. The Action Plan will be developed in close partnership with Pathology Technology Australia (PTA).

MTPConnect Co-exhibitor on The Australian Pavillion at BIO 2022

As part of MTPConnect’s commitment to opening international markets and boosting access to international supply chains, we have joined the AusBiotech-led Australian Pavilion as co-exhibitor at the BIO International Convention 2022 in San Diego, California. MTPConnect is helping to re-introduce Australia’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical capabilities to the world after two years of pandemic travel restrictions, as the BIO International Convention returns as an in-person event. BIO is the largest business partnering event for the sector in the world with around 17,000 participants expected to attend over a four-day program from 13-16 June.

Podcast Episodes Showcase Start-Up Innovations
MTPConnect published two new episodes in April. The first featured the story behind BMTH-awardee ARIA Research and their groundbreaking bionic glasses giving vision via sound. The second episode featured UNSW Founders' Dina Titkova and Nuroflux co-founder and CEO Sam van Bohemen about how the REDI-supported Health 10x Accelerator program, delivered in partnership with The George Institute for Global Health, helped open doors for this Sydney-based startup developing a medtech device to improve stroke patient care.

Health 10X Accelerator Applications Opens
UNSW Founders is partnering again with The George Institute for Global Health (TGI) to deliver the Health 10X Accelerator - a 14-week program, powered by MTPConnect's REDI initiative. It aims to accelerate business growth for health startups Australia-wide, particularly those developing affordable and scalable solutions to some of the most pressing unmet medical needs, globally.

WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub Spotlights Nuheara
At our monthly Spotlight event in Perth, Nuheara CEO Justin Miller spoke with our Dr Tracey Wilkinson about the organisation’s transition from a consumer electronic device company to a medical device company addressing mild to moderate hearing loss. The event is now organised as an in-person event with a virtual registration for those who cannot attend due to COVID restrictions.

REDI Case study – APR.Intern: Industry and University Collaboration on Disinfection Technology
Our April case study highlights how APR.Intern with the financial support from MTPConnect’s REDI Initiative helped to match a UNSW PhD intern with Australian company Mobile UV Innovations (MUVi) who is developing a new device that uses UVC photon light to disinfect hospital and medical equipment and wanted to fast-track testing.

Cooperative Research Centre’s Project (CRC-P) Roundtable Event at Adelaide Biomed City
MTPConnect’s Director of Stakeholder Engagement NSW and ACT, Dr Duncan Macinnis shared tips with speakers Professor Caroline McMillen, Chief Scientist of South Australia and Professor Tim O’Meara, Government and Research Strategy Manager ANZ, Cytiva on developing compelling projects for CRC-P submissions at the Adelaide Intermediary Program event, held at Adelaide Biomed City.

Launch of The Bridge Program 2022 Cohort
MTPConnect’s newly appointed CEO Stuart Dignam made the opening remarks at the launch of The Bridge Program in Sydney to welcome the 2022 cohort. MTPConnect is one of the founding supporters of the program via our Growth Centre Project Fund, and now through our Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative. This industry led consortium, managed by Professor Lyn Griffiths and the QUT team, supports education and training of biotech and pharmaceutical industry professionals.

MTPConnect visits Neuromersiv
As part of a series of meetings around Australia with BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) projects, Senior Director BMTH Program Dr Gerard Gibbs and Director Stakeholder Engagement NSW and ACT Dr Duncan Macinnis visited the team at Neuromersiv. The Sydney-based medtech startup – a BMTH Round Three awardee – is developing a unique VR-based rehabilitation therapy solution. The technology was recently featured on SBS TV.

BioMelbourne Network’s BioForum Panel on Funding and Investment
Dr Gerard Gibbs joined a panel of experts from Breakthrough Victoria, CUREator, ANDHealth and Launch Victoria at BioMelbourne Network’s BioForum for a 2022 Industry Update on Investment and Funding options, including opportunities such as incubators and accelerators, from both private and government sources.

MTPConnect Expands Team in South Australia
MTPConnect welcomed Stephanie Morris to the team as Director of Innovation and Translation for our Adelaide Intermediary Program. Stephanie will work closely with Jo Close, Director Adelaide Intermediary Program, and Adelaide BioMed City partners to deliver activities that strategically build capacity, connection and opportunity and help to drive the growth of health and biomedical innovation and translation in South Australia.