MTPConnect podcast special: Team Australia mission takes on The MedTech Conference in Boston

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12 December 2022

MTPConnect hit The Medtech Conference in Boston, USA with a mission - showcase Australia’s outstanding innovative medical technologies and unique capabilities and build valuable connections into international markets.

MTPConnect led a top-level visit program with a delegation of 18 Australian companies looking to crack the US market, with keynotes and networking events, top-level visits and the creation of the unmissable Australian Pavilion exhibit. The mission was supported by Austrade and state partners Global Victoria, Invest & Trade Western Australia, NSW Health, Trade and Investment Queensland and the Government of South Australia.

In a two-part podcast special, our CEO, Stuart Dignam, caught up with special guests and delegates at the conference, including Boston Scientific’s Executive Vice President and Global Chief Medical Officer, Professor Ian Meredith, who is responsible for clinical trials, strategy and clinical direction, helping to shape the company’s thinking about what is going to be relevant over the next 20 to 50 years in respect to aging, non-communicable diseases, climate change, diversity in clinical trials and how it translates to the medical devices and technologies that their company develops. He spent time with some of the eighteen delegates and shares some key takeaways for early-phase companies, embarking on the commercialisation journey and pitching to potential partners.

“First, understand the company you are pitching to and what their strategic direction is, and what really matters to their company and if you have a technology that fits in, what is going to excite them about this technology.

“Second, know who you are talking to. We are only going to be talking to you because we know you and know your technology.

“Third, don’t waste time on market size. We are not going to be talking to you if we don’t know the market you are in. Allude to it, but you don’t have to focus on it.

“And fourth, have a clear understanding of how you are going to progress your technology…these are the milestones at various phases.

So present with a very organised, thoughtful, measured, analytical way of how you're going to do it without actually being overly optimistic about the reality and have a good understanding of what it's going to cost to do the clinical trials and what the cost of the goods are... just a few pieces of advice that I think would be very handy when you hear a pitch from an Australian company rather than blue sky ideas. Because after all big companies love blue sky ideas, but they're investing in technologies where they can see a clear path to commercialisation. You've got to help them with that.”

Professor Meredith believes Australia has all the ingredients to develop a big tech sector like Massachusetts or Minnesota, Ireland, Israel - largely stable governments, a great legal system and clear in our understanding of the insurance system, excellence in health care, high quality academics and universities across all of the domains needed.

“It's really a case of bringing people together - it's got to be cohesive, linked and thoughtful and a committed universal approach to actually delivering this. And finally, we have to have logical financing for these projects, which means durable, sustainable, thoughtful financing. That really allows companies in their nascent stage to get across the valley of death to prove the concept and have to make it to regulatory approval and then commercialisation and that requires very thoughtful ways of doing it.

“And it can't be just aggressive financing that takes too much away from the entrepreneur who's trying to get started,” he said.

Check out part one and part two to find out more about who was in Boston on this Medtech delegation and why!