First year of South Australia's Biomanufacturing Industry Doctoral Training PhD+ program is a success

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31 January 2024

In the first year of the Biomanufacturing Industry Doctoral Training Centre (IDTC) PhD+ Program, participating students have gained access to industry knowledge and development opportunities in technical skills, leadership and commercialisation.

Throughout 2023, two new Industry Doctoral Training Centres (IDTCs) in South Australia have hosted 27 PhD students from the state’s major universities as part of a pilot four-year program.

Focusing on two critical technologies – biomanufacturing and quantum technologies – the IDTC PhD+ Program is part of the South Australian Government’s EXCITE Strategy to support a future-focused workforce.

Based on the UK’s Centres for Doctoral Training model, the IDTC PhD+ Program has several objectives: to foster a relationship between research and business; develop innovations of commercial relevance; and support greater mobility of graduates between research and industry.

MTPConnect, through its Adelaide Intermediary Program (AIP), is delivering PhD Plus sessions as part of the biomanufacturing stream of the initiative. Alongside regular interactions with their project partners, students attend interactive learning sessions throughout the year to complement their PhD projects. These sessions have featured guest speakers and visits to manufacturing sites, as well as networking events, roundtables and training activities.

AIP Director, Jo Close is pleased with the outcomes achieved in the first year of the program.

"The students have connected and supported each other, gained confidence, improved soft-skills, and taken advantage of networking opportunities. We have watched the group grow and look forward to each session," said Ms Close.

“Students have presented at conferences, won poster competitions, actively participated in wider industry activities, and confidently contributed to meetings with their academic and industry supervisors.

"Our role in SA is to create connections, build capacity and foster a culture of innovation. The program plays an important role in shaping future leaders who embed innovation and translation into their journey. 

"The program is also showing success in supporting and building meaningful connections with Universities and Industry which lifts the focus on translation and impact. The students have taken an active role in co-designing the sessions and speaking line-up for 2024, and we can’t wait to facilitate and see where this year takes them,” she said.

To hear more about the program and the students experiences connecting with research and industry experts, read our Case Study.