PODCAST: 150th Episode Welcomes MTPConnect’s New Chair

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13 April 2023

This month, we celebrate the 150th episode of the MTPConnect podcast. The series was created back in 2019. We believed the podcast medium was a great way to showcase the innovations and people shaping the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals (MTP) sector in Australia and globally. After talking to 300 inspiring guests, across five seasons, the popular series has now reached more than 80 countries and had 50,000 downloads.

And so the 150th episode. To mark the occasion, we invited MTPConnect’s new Chair, Hon Jaala Pulford, to discuss her distinguished career in government and her plans for the next chapter. Jaala is a passionate advocate for science, innovation and medical research, and those who work in the sector.

“I think people working in medtech and pharma are motivated for reasons that have a humanity and a depth to them that’s actually quite different to other industries. I’m thinking of a founder that I met in San Francisco when I was there for work and they're doing something spectacular with data and genomics, and it didn't take very long to work out that the reason this guy gets out of bed in the morning is that his mother died of breast cancer when she was quite young. And he worries about his sister, and he worries about his daughters, and he is just driven to do this.”

Recently, Jaala made the opening remarks at a National Press Club address by the Industry and Science Minister, Hon Ed Husic MP. She spoke about Australia’s position on the Global Innovation Index, ranking fourth in the world for research, but thirty-ninth for outputs from that research. She believes there is an untapped potential.

“If we can double the extent to which our research effort is being successfully translated and/or commercialised, that would have a profound impact on the Australian economy and a profound impact on healthcare, on people in Australia and around the world. I think MTPConnect has a role to play in this... we can be adding to the national conversation and to policy developments with government... ideas developed around how our health system purchases things. There's some interesting work that can be advanced around regulation.”

As a young organisation of seven years, Jaala says MTPConnect is just warming up, with significant potential to keep supporting the sector.

“I want us to have a big impact. I think the pandemic has bought into stark relief the national imperative and the regional (Asia Pacific) imperative for us to be very good at these things. We want to make it a little easier for people to do very, very hard things. When you're talking about managing the building of a product (by an organisation) that goes into a living person, and often a very sick person, it is probably the most complex level of regulation you can possibly imagine. There are really long timeframes for a return on investment for the investor community. People who choose to work in this sector choose to do something very hard. If we can make it a little bit easier here and there, then I think that's our mission.”

You can tune into the MTPConnect Podcast to hear more from Jaala for this 150th episode.

The MTPConnect Podcast is produced by host Caroline Duell and editor Natalie Vella. Many thanks to our CEO Stuart Dignam, for his vision and support, and to former team member Shannan Osrin and everyone in the MTPConnect team who has helped to make the podcast series such a success.

Episodes are published several times a month on our website and on all quality podcasting platforms such as Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. Subscribe or leave us a review, it really helps others find our podcast.