Welcome to the MTPConnect Podcast Series, we're so happy you can join us.
Over the coming weeks and months, we'll be connecting with the people and issues shaping the medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals (MTP) sector in Australia and globally. We'll speak with our project partners, discuss the latest MTP and STEM trends and challenges as well as check in with what the MTPConnect team is up to.
80. Improving Workforce Skills: Creating a Vibrant Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
The MedTech Actuator connects Australia’s broad ecosystem to empower founders to build the next wave of global MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech success stories. In 2020, the MedTech Actuator joined MTPConnect as a REDI partner to expand the focus of its medtech programs into BioTech, pharma and health and well-being. MedTech Actuator CEO Dr Buzz Palmer and CSO Dr Vishaal Kishore joined the podcast this week to discuss the success of its pre-seed to series A 2020 accelerator program that provided Entrepreneur-in-Residence sessions at universities, hospitals and research institutes, all delivered virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions. 15 start-ups have begun the fifth cohort of the program, which commenced in July 2020. The MedTech Actuator team also spoke of helping start-ups face the fear of failure out of start-ups and what they could learn from it, and the importance of encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in younger Australians, particularly students. The MedTech Actuator Origin (formerly MedTech’s Got Talent), is an early-stage pitch competition for medtech, healthtech and biotech entrepreneurs . Applications for the industry-led bootcamp opened 16 November 2020. More information at: https://medtechactuator.com/origin/
79. Improving Workforce Skills: Inspiring the Next Generation of Australian Medtech & Pharma Entrepreneurs
The Bridge and BridgeTech Programs, facilitated by QUT on behalf of a consortium of key industry partners and institutes, are nation-wide professional development programs, focussing on training Australia’s next generation of researchers and life sciences entrepreneurs by developing their commercialisation skills and industry networks. The Bridge and BridgeTech programs are partners of MTPConnect’s REDI Program, an initiative to improve workforce skills across Australia. Joining the podcast this week, is Director of the Programs, Professor Lyn Griffiths and the Program Manager Joel Spotswood, who discuss how the initiative has expanded to include the new Bridge and BridgeTech REDI Program offering 20 funded, competitive industry fellowships annually for Bridge and BridgeTech participants, alumni and selected associated participants over the next four years. Successful applicants receive a $10,000 Fellowship to fund their industry placement to be undertaken for a minimum of 3-6 weeks. Researchers are given a new opportunity to immerse themselves in industry, make professional connections and consider the translation and commercialisation of research. With the impact of COVID-19 being felt across the university sector and research labs across Australia, the REDI Industry Fellowships can provide a bridge to the medtech and pharma industry for our best and brightest scientists. More information, go to https://research.qut.edu.au/redi-program/.
78. Why Australia is the Destination of Choice for International Medical Device Clinical Trials. Listen to our Virtual Medtech Conference 2020 Webinar!
To mark our involvement in the Virtual Medtech Conference 2020 in Toronto, we hosted a special webinar with Austrade, for US and Canadian medical device companies who may benefit from running clinical trials in Australia. The session explored ‘Australia as a medical device trial destination: Maintain momentum in your clinical development program’, and focused on first-in-human / early phase cardiovascular medical device trials. Discussions cover the clinical trials landscape in Australia and the impact of COVID-19 on maintaining research momentum, the opportunities for international collaboration and a German company’s firsthand experience as a multinational medical device company running clinical trial programs in Australia.
A special thanks to our stellar panel:
- Hon. Peter McGauran – Australia’s Consul General and Senior Trade & Investment Commissioner, Austrade Houston
- Dr Dan Grant – Managing Director & CEO MTPConnect
- Prof John Kovacic – Executive Director Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
- Prof Gemma Figtree – President Australian Cardiovascular Alliance
- Mr Falko Thiele – Director Clinical & Regulatory Affairs BIOTRONIK Australia (HQ Germany)
77. Developing Diagnostics Needs A Different Approach: Listen to our Webinar!
We’re patching you in to the September webinar in our 2020 Seminar Series to explore the challenges and issues specific to developing diagnostics in the Australian and global market, compared to drugs and devices. Infectious diseases physician, Dr Jack Richards from Australian biotech ZiP Diagnostics whose team is developing and manufacturing infectious diseases diagnostics in Melbourne, shares his experiences and reveals the impact COVID-19 is having on the diagnostics sector. Dr Sarah Hennebry from FPA Patent Attorneys in Melbourne explores intellectual property issues specific to diagnostics. Fund raising is covered by Dr John Westwater from OneVentures in Sydney. The session was led by MTPConnect’s Director Stakeholder Engagement NSW Dr Duncan Macinnis.
76. Launching Australia’s first Antimicrobial Resistance Network & the Fighting Superbugs report
MTPConnect recently held a virtual industry roundtable to launch the formation of Australia’s first Antimicrobial Resistance Network – the AAMRNet, and released a new report, ‘Fighting Superbugs: A Report on the Inaugural Meeting of Australia’s Antimicrobial Resistance Stakeholders’, prepared by MTPConnect in partnership with Biointelect.
Collaboration is the key to success and the AAMRNet aims to provide a unified voice to support and promote Australia’s role in the global fight against the growing threat of drug resistant infections. MTPConnect’s Managing Director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant officially launched the initiative, followed by a discussion with AAMRNet’s Steering Committee members facilitated by Jenny Herz, Biointelect Managing Director.
- Elizabeth de Somer - CEO, Medicines Australia
- Professor David Paterson - Director UQ Centre for Clinical Research, Faculty of Medicine at University of Queensland
- Paul Field - Australian Representative, Global Antibiotic Research and Development Partnership (GARDP) and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND)
- Julie Philips - Managing Director, Opal Biosciences and MTPConnect Director.
To find out more or to join the AAMRNet, contact MTPConnect.
75. RPA Virtual Hospital - Revolutionising Patient Care
What happens when you are tasked to setup a virtual care model to meet the demand for growth in hospital services, and just as operations are launched, a pandemic emerges? The team at Sydney Local Health District – General Manager Miranda Shaw and Chief Information Officer Richard Taggart - are on the team that developed New South Wales’ first virtual hospital - RPA Virtual - which has treated more than 3,500 patients at home, by managing their care through an online healthcare model. And feedback from patients of all ages is really positive. The conversation covers the upside of a virtual healthcare model, how it can be applied and adapted for different patient groups, and what was involved in pivoting care for patients in COVID-related hotel quarantine. With the model reliant on the use of medical technology including wearables, devices, smart phones electronic medical records, there is more room for Australian digital health innovation. And it’s prompting healthcare professionals to embrace new workplace skills through technology training. Join us to see how ‘disruptive ideas’ are revolutionising patient care!
74. Improving Workforce Skills: Championing Social Entrepreneurship for Start-ups
In this episode, we catch up with one of our REDI partners, the George Institute for Global Health, an independent medical research institute based in Sydney. We discuss their Health10x Accelerator program and the opportunities it’s creating for Australian start-ups and entrepreneurs to deliver successful commercial ventures with maximum social impact. Dr Parisa Glass, the Director of Innovation and Enterprise at The George Institute for Global Health and a Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at UNSW, is joined by Vesna Todorovski, the Program Manager for the George’s Genovate initiative, to explain why Health10 X is an ‘Accelerator with a difference’. Health10x has a particular focus on innovations that address major health challenges in emerging and underserved markets, particularly the burden of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory illness - leading causes of death and disability worldwide. They reveal some of the promising startups going through the program now, in partnership with UNSW’s Founders program. Listen for a really insightful discussion about driving entrepreneurship and innovation in healthcare.
73. Spotlighting Innovation in the Australian MTP Sector
n this episode, we bring you the keynote presentation from MTPConnect Managing Director & CEO Dr Dan Grant at Innovate Health 2020. Recent research released by MTPConnect reveals the COVID-19 health crisis has had a significant impact across the Australian MTP sector, with hits to company values, the shutdown of critical clinical trials and research labs, and the drying-up of much needed capital to sustain research and development projects. Simultaneously the sector has been fast-tracking vaccine, diagnostic, device and therapeutic research to fight COVID-19 and securing vital medical supplies to help save lives. Dr Dan Grant shines the spotlight on the role innovation will play in the sector’s recovery and the potential for digital health to drive renewed growth of the sector over the next six to twelve months. Dr Grant also chats with the Innovate Health Conference Chair Tam Ngyuen from St Vincent’s Melbourne. MTPConnect sponsored Innovate Health 2020, which this year focused on ‘encouraging engagement, navigating commercialisation and accelerating growth and uptake of digital health innovation in Australia’.
72. How will the R&D Tax Incentive Strengthen Your Business? Listen to Our Seminar!
We’re patching you in to the August webinar on our 2020 Seminar Series. Hear from Dr Manuel Zander from AusIndustry in Queensland, Sue Mundy from the Australian Taxation Office in Adelaide and Dave Sammut from Access RnD Tax Solutions in Sydney, as they discuss how the R&D Tax Incentive can benefit your business, the importance of record keeping and where to find information on how to commence R&D activities in Australia. The session was led by MTPConnect’s Director Stakeholder Engagement Queensland Andrew Bowskill.
71. Improving Workforce Skills: Building a Clinical Trial Talent Pipeline
The MTPConnect podcast team – Caroline Duell and Dr Dan Grant – explore how MTPConnect’s REDI initiative is supporting the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) to extend the pilot of its successful SKILLED clinical trial internships program. The VCCC’s Executive Director Professor Grant McArthur and the Head, Education and Training Development Michelle Barrett join us to discuss how SKILLED internships provide a pathway for scientists to build role-specific clinical trial knowledge, experience and skills in a clinical trials unit through theoretical and on-the-job training. The pace of cancer research is driving up the demand for highly skilled Clinical Trial Assistants & Study Co-ordinators, creating employment and career opportunities. The internships run for 40 weeks with VCCC alliance partners and collaborators in metro and regional locations across Victoria in a model that has attracted international interest. The SKILLED Internship Program has continued to operate in the COVID-19 environment, and pivoting to teletrials is providing interns with new skills. Developing a highly trained cancer care workforce is critical to meet the field's future demands as we advance cancer research and patient care.
70. South Australia’s Novel Response to Coronavirus
This week, we speak to vaccine development expert Professor Nikolai Petrovsky from South Australia. He is the Director of Endocrinology at Flinders Medical Centre, a Professor in the School of Medicine at Flinders University and the founder of Vaxine Pty Ltd, an Adelaide-based biotechnology company specialising in pandemic vaccine design. Professor Petrovsky joins the MTPConnect podcast to update us on his promising vaccine candidate - COVAX-19, with a recombinant spike protein approach, that has recently successfully completed Phase 1 trials at Royal Adelaide Hospital. It’s a thought provoking discussion covering vaccine development, funding, access issues and manufacturing capabilities, future pandemic preparedness and what we can learn from past outbreaks to protect us against other threats like MERS-CoV. He also reveals how the vaccine mapping project funded by MTPConnect as a part of the Industry Growth Centre Project Fund Program helped accelerate their current COVAX-19 research program. Listen for a fascinating chat.
69. Exploring the Pathways of a Regional Founder
In this week’s episode, the MTPConnect podcast team follow the trailblazing journey of a regional founder in Australia. We speak to Anna Barwick, a Clinical Pharmacist and researcher, at the University of New England (UNE) in Armidale, NSW who is lecturing to the next generation of pharmacists, podcasting a show ‘Indispensable’ for Australians who want to know how to use their medications effectively and improve their health with tips from expert pharmacists, and running a family farm. Anna is just about to launch her new digital health business called PharmOnline, which will provide telehealth consultations [via an App] for patients to access pharmacists to get answers in real-time about their medications, instead of turning to ‘Dr Google’. The idea is to use technology to provide a virtual advisory service in community pharmacy to improve the lives of people living remotely. PharmOnline was also one of 12 digital health start-up companies accepted in to ANDHealth’s BRIGHT Workshop NSW held virtually in July which supports founders. We also hear from Dr Lou Conway, who connected with Anna at the beginning of her founder’s journey, as the Director of the UNE’s Smart Region Incubator, a place where new founders can find support and mentorship to kickstart their business ideas. Some of the programs offered at UNE start linking with innovators as young as 15 years of age. Lou discusses the value of involving research practitioners from rural areas, and how important it is to be part of a larger community focused on innovation and creativity.
68. How is MedTech Innovation Pushing the Frontiers of Human Movement? Listen to our Webinar!
We’re patching you in to our latest webinar in the 2020 Seminar Series. Hear from A/Prof Jacqueline Alderson from UWA in Perth, Rick Wingfield from Catapult Sports in Melbourne, Dr Lee Walsh from Platypus Technical in Canberra and Dr Dan Grant from MTPConnect in Melbourne, as they discuss this emerging Knowledge Priority - biomechanics & human movement - and the growth of digital technologies creating a revolution in the field of sports science and biomechanics that could impact wellbeing, physical performance and healthy ageing. The panel discuss the latest developments in wearable sensors, data analytics and the ‘cool tech’ that is being trialled and tested in Australia in high performance sporting codes like motorsport, soccer, football and rugby. The challenges of validation and regulatory approvals were covered. There are also some interesting career opportunities opening up in sports science for engineers, data and computer scientists. The session was led by MTPConnect’s Director Stakeholder Engagement WA Dr Kate Brooks.
67. Meet Professor Caroline McMillen – South Australia’s Chief Scientist
In this week’s edition, we profile South Australia’s Chief Scientist, Professor Caroline McMillen who was recently honoured with an Order of Australia for her contribution to medical science, tertiary education, to the South Australian community and to social equity. The MTPConnect podcast team – Caroline Duell, Dr Dan Grant and Dr Rebecca Tunstall – follow her fascinating career journey from Northern Ireland via UK to Australia, as she moved from the medical profession to the university sector engaging with industry and amplifying STEMM research in education. Now she is helping to drive emerging opportunities in science and research coming out of SA, which she describes as the ‘State of science’. Her story will inspire others to explore the unknown and unleash their bright talent.
66. Improving Workforce Skills: How Mentoring is Creating a Culture Shift in STEMM Career Paths
The team at the Australian Technology of Science and Engineering, otherwise known as ATSE, joined the MTPConnect podcast to chat about the success of the one-year Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) program. It began as a pilot in 2015, funded by MTPConnect, and now has an extensive alumni group of over 900 members and over 500 leaders involved in mentoring Australia’s talented PhD students. The Academy’s CEO Kylie Walker and IMNIS program Executive Director Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea discuss their recent alumni survey results and their involvement with MTPConnect’s new REDI initiative which will enable them to expand the program to international mentors and broaden mentoring to include emerging areas like digital health, regenerative medicine, cell and gene therapies and more. Maggie and Kylie explain how PhD students can join the IMNIS program and find a mentor to help expand their career horizons, and also encourage those who want to be mentors to get in touch. The IMNIS program is all about connecting to a larger network and paying it forward. ATSE applies science, technology and engineering expertise to solve the big issues facing our nation in a fast-changing world, and Kylie also touches on the challenges and opportunities that COVID19 has posed for ATSE and its members.
65. Spotlight: ANDHealth Reveals the Sleeping Giant in Digital Health
Since ANDHealth’s inception in 2017, they have been working to elevate Australia’s emerging digital health sector and support start-ups and companies to progress and find investment. The organisation’s Managing Director, CEO & Founder Bronwyn Le Grice chats to the MTPConnect podcast team – Caroline Duell and Dr Dan Grant – about their new report, ‘Digital Health: The Sleeping Giant of Australia’s Health Technology Industry.’ It’s packed with data and information they’ve collected from the Australian digital health sector since 2017 and is the first to comprehensively demonstrate the global potential of digital health innovations to support Australia’s healthcare system and economy. Bronwyn also explains the opportunities that COVID-19 has opened up for the digital health sector.
64. Are You Exploring Pathways To Commercialise a Health Innovation? Join Our Global Webinar
We’re patching you in to our 2020 Seminar Series via our latest webinar. Hear from Boston-based CIMIT Chief Operating Officer Dr John Collins, Health Horizon Co-Founder & CEO Marcus Dawe and OncoRes Medical MD & CEO Dr Kath Giles to discuss how to best to navigate the pathways to commercialising health innovations. The team guided by our Senior Director Stakeholder Engagement Dr Rebecca Tunstall as MC, along with MTPConnect’s MD & CEO Dr Dan Grant, heard about the journey of OncoRes Medical developing introperative imaging technology to improve accuracy of breast cancer surgery. CIMIT’s GAITS model was showcased as a tool to help innovators map their commercialisation process to get their solutions to patients faster. And one of Australia’s latest health innovations, the Health Horizon platform, revealed how it keeps track of health innovations around the world for innovators, funders and the public so everyone can follow the progress of medical breakthroughs.
63. The New Frontier in Sports Science
This week we bring our virtual podcast studio to WA, where our hosts Shannan Osrin and Dr Kate Brooks, check in with University of Western Australia Associate Professor Jacqueline Alderson to discuss how sports science is improving athletes performance. Jacqueline, a leading sports scientist, explains her digital twin model that uses machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to enable researchers to perform real-time monitoring of a person’s health data and test scenarios on the data collected. We also chat to her about her involvement with major sporting teams like the Australian women’s hockey team, the Hockeyroos. She also talks about the career satisfaction gained from mentoring her PhD students from their studies into industry jobs, in Australia and beyond.
62. Part 2: Australia’s Rapid Response to the Coronavirus
How is Australia progressing in the race to develop a COVID-19 vaccine? The MTPConnect podcast checked in with University of Queensland’s Dr Keith Chappell and Professor Trent Munro, who are leading a research team using their patented molecular clamp technology to create a vaccine in record time. The UQ team, which includes Professor Paul Young, is the only Australian organisation backed by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and who along with Australian biotech giant CSL recently signed a deal to develop and manufacture the candidate. We first spoke to Trent on the podcast back in February 2020, when the new coronavirus was just emerging in Australia and before the WHO global pandemic declaration. Now, just four months later, COVID-19 has spread around the world, with more than 8 million cases and close to half a million people dying. Already, their vaccine is moving into human clinical trials, and if successful, the vaccine could be available in 2021. Keith and Trent discuss their extraordinary quest, and the importance of collaboration, funding and teamwork.
61. Spotlight: Getting Skin Deep with WearOptimo
We are constantly finding new ways to use technology to address major healthcare challenges facing the world. In this episode, we spotlight the research efforts of Brisbane-based enterprise WearOptimo as they try and find a way to detect health issues before they become problems, like cardiac disease, inflammation and dehydration. Founder & CEO Professor Mark Kendall and Chief Technology Officer Dr Steve Wilson speak to the MTPConnect podcast team about how their technology, is creating simple, painless, wearable medical devices that interact with our skin and which have the potential to monitor and manage a range of diseases ‘when time matters most’. That also includes COVID-19. Their work is supported by MTPConnect’s BioMedTech Horizons program whose Senior Director Dr Gerard Gibbs discusses the importance of early stage medtech research and what’s ahead for all of the projects receiving BMTH funding as they progress to translate their discoveries from bench to bedside.
60. COVID-19 Pivot: Therapeutic Innovation Australia’s Rapid Response
We take you behind the scenes to the translational research facilities around Australia helping researchers take discoveries from the lab to the clinic. TIA is a national consortium of research infrastructure that enables public and private research teams to access affordable technologies and equipment to develop new therapeutics to improve human health. We chat to TIA CEO Dr Stuart Newman about the facilities supporting COVID-19 related research, including its National Biologics Facility in Queensland where UQ researchers are racing against time to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr Marian Sturm, Facility Director of the Cell & Tissue Therapies WA, which is a TIA Consortium member based at Royal Perth Hospital, reveals how their research facility prepared for the pandemic and the importance of up-skilling capability for their advanced manufacturing efforts.
59. How Artificial Intelligence is Transforming Healthcare with DataRWE
Advances in new technology are driving the use of real-world data to improve healthcare research, including big data analytics, machine learning and Artificial Intelligence in Australia. The MTPConnect podcast team chat to Queensland start-up DataRWE’s Chief Technology Officer Dr Kelvin Ross and Chief Executive Officer Steve Woodyatt about developing a new Precision Medicine Data Platform that gathers patient data from multiple sources in Intensive Care Units to supports medical teams to make informed care decisions at speed for critically ill patients. The platform is being developed at the Gold Coast University Hospital with plans to expand to hospitals across Asia-Pacific. The DataRWE team discuss their COVID-19 pivot underway to roll out an adapted clinical dashboard for ICUs across the state to identify the projectory of the virus in each patient admitted, links to electronic medical records and which patients are most at risk of complications.
58. COVID-19 Pivot: Industry’s Response on International Clinical Trials Day
Happy International Clinical Trials Day subscribers! To mark this important day, we gathered some leaders from the Australian MTP sector to discuss the power and importance of clinical trials in the discovery of new medicines and treatments for patients, a COVID-19 vaccine trial starting soon in Australia, and how important the clinical trials sector will be in contributing to Australia’s post-COVID recovery. Hear from Dr Paul Griffin, A/Prof of Medicine at the University of Queensland’s Faculty of Medicine, Director of Infectious Diseases at Mater Health Services & Medical Director and principal investigator at Nucleus Network/Qpharm, Carrie Bloomfield, Co-Chair of the Industry-supported R&D Taskforce & Head of Clinical Operations at GlaxoSmithKline and MTPConnect’s Managing Director & CEO Dr Dan Grant, Senior Director Stakeholder Engagement Dr Rebecca Tunstall & Director of Communications & Events Caroline Duell.
57. Opening Up International Markets: BioKorea 2020 Goes Virtual
As COVID-19 restricts international travel and many meet ups at conventions are put on hold, our MTP sector is adapting to the challenges by doing business differently. So as the important BioKorea 2020 conference has become a digital event, Australia has pivoted with its first virtual trade mission to ensure we continue to showcase homegrown biotech talent and seek out new international markets and commercial collaborations. MTPConnect is supporting Austrade’s Australian pavilion at BioKorea 2020, with a special focus on promoting WA’s thriving life sciences ecosystem. For this episode we chat to Austrade’s Senior Trade Commissioner Julie Quinn and Orthocell’s Managing Director Paul Anderson about the exciting export and partnering opportunities that BioKorea presents, the Australian biotech companies joining Austrade’s virtual trade mission, including a stellar WA lineup, and the hot topics of Alzheimer’s Disease and Regenerative Medicine.
56. BONUS: Is Your MTP Company Cyber Safe? Listen to Our Webinar!
Happy bonus episode subscribers! This episode will patch you into our first webinar as part of the MTPConnect 2020 Seminar Series program, and due to COVID-19 restrictions we have had to take it online. Hear from MTPConnect’s MD & CEO Dr Dan Grant, our MC Director Stakeholder Engagement NSW Dr Duncan Macinnis, AustCyber CEO Michelle Price, Perx Health’s Co-Founder & CEO Hugo Rourke and Forticode’s CEO Tony Smales discuss cyber safety and security in relation to the MTP sector.
55. Spotlight: Microscopy Australia’s Technical Voucher Fund Breaks Down Barriers
Microscopy Australia, headquartered at the University of Sydney, is providing discounted access to its microscopy services through a Technical Voucher Fund for medtech R&D companies for early stage drug discovery. It is work supported by MTPConnect, through the Australian Government’s Project Fund Program that is continuing to reduce the existing barriers to utilise these services. The podcast team - Shannan Osrin and Elizabeth Stares – talk to Microscopy Australia’s Marketing and Business Development Manager Dr Jenny Whiting about the impact on companies and SMEs who have used their instruments and technical testing services, like WA-based Linear Clinical Research and Little Green Pharma. The consortium of nine university-based microscopy facilities is led by the University of Sydney, and includes University of Queensland, University of Western Australia, UNSW Sydney, University of Adelaide, University of South Australia, Australian National University and Flinders University.
54. The Innovation Upside of COVID-19 - Dr Pradeep Philip’s Novel Response
How will Australia navigate its medical research and innovation response in a world impacted by COVID-19? Our podcast team talks with economist Dr Pradeep Philip from Deloitte Access Economics about the MTP sector’s critical role in driving Australia’s COVID-19 response and recovery. Dr Philip, who’s had a distinguished career in public policy and health administration and is on the Board of the MedTech Actuator, says the way we tackle the pandemic is an opportunity for Australia to create a COVID-safe economy, increase research collaboration and harness new technology.
53. Aussie Start-Ups on the Commercialisation Runway – Meet Tournicare & Navi Medical Technologies
This week’s edition features the Founders of two emerging Australian medtech start-ups, Tournicare's Co-Founder & CEO Niels van Sparrentak & Navi Medical Technologies’ Co-Founder & Co-CFO Brad Bergmann, who were selected as a Winner and a Finalist, respectively, in the 2019 Australian Technology Competition. Tournicare have designed a unique home blood pressure monitoring device that patients with hypertension can apply to the arm using only one hand. Navi Medical Technologies have developed ‘neoNav’, a medtech device that is an electrocardiogram (ECG) tip location system that helps medical staff more accurately place catheters in the veins of critically unwell babies. The Competition, in its 10th year, is supported by MTPConnect and provides a platform for companies of all sectors to access industry connections, partnership opportunities, seed investment and strategic advice. Host Shannan Osrin catches up with Niels and Brad to find out how the Competition has helped to commercialise their important medical devices, their tips on start-up success and how they are operating in this COVID-19 climate.
52. COVID-19 Pivot: EpiChem’s Novel Response
In this current COVID-19 climate, companies are pivoting and stepping-up to meet industry challenges. Continuing discussions in our virtual podcast studio, host Caroline Duell and Dr Kate Brooks are joined by Epichem CEO, Colin La Galia, to talk about what his chemistry services company is doing to support healthcare teams on the COVID-19 frontline in WA. EpiChem is pivoting to produce WHO formulated chemistry-grade hand sanitiser for hospitals and aged care centres in Western Australia. Colin outlines the ripple effect of the global pandemic on the business and associated industries involved in drug discovery & clinical trials, and how EpiChem is supporting homegrown careers in chemistry to build scientific capability.
51. Improving Workforce Skills – Keeping Pace with Cancer Research
For this week’s edition of the podcast, we chat to Dr David Kok, a Radiation Oncologist and Director of Training at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, a clinical researcher and Course Convenor of the Master of Cancer Sciences degree at the University of Melbourne in partnership with the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC). It is Australia’s first cancer-specific, multidisciplinary, and wholly online program, and one of only two such online programs available in the world. Dr Kok talks us through his multiple roles as clinician, researcher and teacher and how post-graduate education and training can addresses the workforce skills gaps in cancer research and treatment. The VCCC is also a partner in MTPConnect’s REDI program that will ensure Australia has an industry-ready MTP workforce with the skills necessary to keep pace with our rapidly changing sector.
50. Digital Health – Giving Children Back Their Sparkle
Happy 50th episode subscribers! With this special milestone we do our first virtual chat, where host Caroline Duell speaks to Spokle Co-Founder Elisabeth Yunarko. Spokle is a digital health application that aids children with communication difficulties, by providing family-led speech therapy through fun games and video tutorials and has been especially effective in the Indonesian market. Elisabeth was a collaborator on our latest research report in partnership with Asialink Business ‘Digital Health: Opportunities in Indonesia’, supported by Austrade, which you can download here.
49. Opening up International Markets: Developing a U.S. Market Entry Strategy
MTPConnect hosted Medical Alley Association’s VP Intelligence Frank Jaskulke for our first Seminar Series around Australia. The podcast team spoke to Frank after he completed his tour of Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia, to find out how prepared Australian medtech companies are to break into the United States. Our Senior Director Stakeholder Engagement Dr Rebecca Tunstall joined in this discussion and shared insights from those who attended the seminar series. Thanks to Frank for joining our series and speaking to our stakeholders.
48. Part 2: Australia’s Position to Tackle Antimicrobial Resistance
Australia is stepping-up to the global challenge to tackle Antimicrobial Resistance, and this week our podcast takes you to a keynote presentation by our Director Stakeholder Engagement for Queensland Andrew Bowskill at the DMTC Conference in Canberra. Andrew’s key message? We need a new approach to commercialising novel antibiotics now to save lives. Our thanks to DMTC’s CEO Mark Hodge and the team for hosting MTPConnect and giving us the platform to discuss this important global health challenge.
47. Spotlight: How Tele Trials Are Giving Rural Cancer Patients Access to New Treatments with COSA
What is a tele trial and how do patients get access to these in regional Australia? The podcast team chat to Clinical Oncology Society of Australia (COSA)’s CEO Marie Malica and Professor Sabe Sabesan the Director of the Department of Medical Oncology at the Townsville Cancer Centre, about the impact of a pilot project where clinicians and industry work together to give patients in regional and remote areas access to the latest cancer treatment trials and why this new approach is a game-changer for these patients; which is partially funded under the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources (DISER)’s Industry Growth Centre Project Fund Program.
46. Tackling a Global Health Challenge in Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is recognised as one of the world’s most pressing global health priorities according to the World Health Organization (WHO). Hosts Stuart Dignam and Dr Dan Grant speak to a leading researcher in this field, Professor Adrian Towse from the Office of Health Economics in the UK. They discuss the importance of Australia’s position in the fight against AMR and how important it is to continue finding novel antibiotics and prevent the transmission of emerging superbugs.
45. Diving into Deep Tech with Cicada Innovations
What is deep tech? We find this out in this week’s edition of the MTPConnect podcast, where host Shannan Osrin chats to Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams. They discuss investment, translation and commercialisation and partnering opportunities with Cicada, companies that have been through the Cicada MedLab accelerator program and Sally-Ann’s decade-long career at Google Australia.
44. Meet Dr Amanda Caples - Victoria’s Lead Scientist
In this week’s edition, we profile Victoria’s Lead Scientist, Dr Amanda Caples. We explore her career in research, industry and the public sector, look at her work to amplify STEM education in primary, secondary and tertiary education, and discuss exciting new opportunities for Australian innovators in space healthtech through the Australian Space Agency.
43. Australia’s Novel Response to the New Coronavirus
In this week’s special edition of the MTPConnect podcast, we look at the critical role being played by Australian scientists and researchers as part of the global response to the Novel Coronavirus public health emergency. With thousands of people infected worldwide, and the number of deaths already surpassing 900, the race is on for a vaccine – and it’s here that Australia is playing a critical role. We meet two leading researchers in this area – Professor George Lovrecz from CSIRO and Professor Trent Munro from the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology who discuss their work with the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) and the status of the vital research.
42. Funding on Offer Through the Biomedical Translation Bridge Program
Round two applications for funding through the Biomedical Translation Bridge program will open shortly. In this episode of the MTPConnect podcast, we bring you our Round 2 Information Session recorded from Melbourne. Hear from MTPConnect’s Dr Dan Grant and our partners; BioCurate’s Dr Tifelle Reisinger, UniQuest’s Dr Mark Ashton and the Medical Device Partnering Program’s Dr Andrew Milligan. They share their learnings from Round 1 and what they will be looking for in Round 2.
Stay tuned for news on when Round 2 opens for applications.
41. Digital Health – The Future of Tomorrow
For this edition of the MTPConnect Podcast, we speak to Arthur Ong, Head of Product Management at Curve Tomorrow, the award winning digital health and technology company on a mission to impact 1 billion lives. We discuss digital health trends, their work with the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute & AFL to create the HeadCheck app for concussion management, pitching digital health innovations and more.
40. Travel to the Borders of Knowledge: Meet Professor Fiona Wood AO
Happy New Year and welcome to a new season of the MTPConnect Podcast.
For this edition, we introduce you to a new host, Caroline Duell, and to a very special guest – renowned burns surgeon, researcher and medtech innovator Prof Fiona Wood AO from WA. Fiona takes us through her start-up journey to develop the world’s first spray-on skin, the importance of asking why, and how science is improving burns treatment.
39. Spotlight: Unpacking the ‘India Opportunity’
MTPConnect with support from Asialink Business and Austrade released our new report ‘Frugal Innovation in Medical Devices and Technologies: The India Opportunity’, the first research of its kind to highlight the growing opportunities for future-focused Australian medical technologies businesses looking to tap into the growing healthcare market in India.
We hear from MTPConnect’s Managing Director & CEO Dr Dan Grant and a panel of industry experts who ‘unpack’ the India Opportunity in a discussion led by Asialink Business CEO Mukund Narayanamurti.
- Dr Pradeep Philip, Partner at Deloitte Access Economics
- Sabeen Shaikh, Managing Director of Crescent Strategy Consulting
- Associate Professor Ruth Webster, Global Head of Medicine, George Health Technologies at the George Institute for Global Health
38. West Tech Fest – Inspiring Innovation In WA
For this edition of the MTPConnect podcast, host Shannan Osrin takes you to the West Tech Fest in Perth. Now in its eighth year it continues to bring together local founders, innovators, researchers and industry to further strengthen the Australian startup ecosystem. Carlo Bellini is a medical doctor turned business strategist, executive coach, and speaker. His boutique firm, HIP Consulting (Health Innovation Performance) works at the intersection of leadership, health, business, and innovation. He advises leaders that are looking to move the needle, from working with startups to multi-billion dollar corporations and governments.
Dr Carlo Bellini facilitated a West Tech Fest panel with Dr Kate Brooks (MTPConnect), Dr Kath Giles (OncoRes Medical) and Dr Marcus Tan (HealthEngine) about disruption in healthcare technology in Western Austalia. We get Kate’s and Carlo’s thoughts following their on stage discussion.
37. Building Project Success Through Translation
The BioMedTech Horizons Program is focused on supporting translation of Australian medical technology innovation to address key health challenges. MTPConnect convened our Round 1 BioMedTech Horizons Program recipients together in Melbourne for a chance to hear about all projects underway, swap ideas on challenges being faced and gain advice from commercialisation experts. Listen in to Carina Biotech’s Professor Jane Rathjen, Griffith University’s Professor David Lloyd and Professor Randy Bindra, and Garvan Institute of Medical Research’s Professor Luke Hesson. The episode also features MTPConnect Managing Director & CEO Dr Dan Grant and intellectual property expert Rob McInness, Principal at Rob McInness IP Advisory.
36. Movember @ Mo-nash – Raising Awareness for Prostate Cancer Research
The Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) located at Monash University’s Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in Melbourne gives early-to-mid career researchers the opportunity to study and tackle global health priorities, like BDI Research Fellow Dr Mitchell Lawrence’s research into Prostate Cancer. Home to more than 700 researchers, 120 research groups and 200 international research collaborators, BDI Deputy Director Professor Dena Lyras gives us insight into the direction of the Institute to provide avenues for researchers to excel and realise opportunities to connect with industry to further their biomedical breakthroughs. And hear about the payoffs for researchers competing in the BDI’s ‘So You Think You Can Pitch Showcase’, on again in December.
35. Reflections of a Senator - Arthur Sinodinis AO
In a special episode, we sit down with Senator Arthur Sinnodinos AO for his last interview before leaving the Senate to become Australia’s next Ambassador to the United States of America. He reflects on his 30 year career in public service - as a Senator for NSW, Prime Minister John Howard’s Chief of Staff and Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science – and discusses the future of genomics, regenerative medicine and why sharing our personal health records can be life-saving.
34. From Uni to Industry - 2019 Bridge Program Symposium
The MTPConnect Podcast team was on the ground at the 2019 Bridge Program Symposium in Melbourne late last month, speaking with bright and emerging research talent, Bridge consortia members from Australian pharma companies about its training program to enable successful commercialisation of Australian pharmaceutical research. Hear from QUT Executive Director Professor Lyn Griffiths, Amgen Director Access, Value and Policy Sean Lybrand and some Pitch winners heading to the US on an R&D tour of American pharma industry; Pradeep Pillai (James Cook University) and Kate Samardzic (University Technology, Sydney). We cover a wide range of topics for budding researchers including what a career in big pharma could look like, how to pitch for research dollars and much, much more.
33. Meet Our Guest of the Chair - Dr Parisa Glass
In a special episode, the MTPConnect Podcast brings you inside a Board meeting in Sydney with our Chair Sue MacLeman and the inaugural Guest of the Chair Dr Parisa Glass, Executive Director at The George Institute for Global Health. Sue explains how the initiative came to be and Parisa provides some of her learnings from her first Board meeting.
32. Spotlight: Anatomics Opens New 3D Printing Facility in Melbourne
The MTPConnect team was on the ground for the launch of Anatomics new 3D printing polymer laboratory at the MAKE Incubator in Melbourne where Federal Minister for Health Hon Greg Hunt MP was on hand to cut the ribbon and open the facility. He stayed to chat about the importance of the pioneering polymer implants in treating patients in need of vital reconstructive surgery. We also spoke to Anatomics CEO and surgeon, Paul D’Urso about the impact of BioMedTech Horizons funding in helping him reach this milestone.
31. MTPConnect Launches in Queensland
MTPConnect is officially open for business in Queensland, after the launch of our new offices at the Translational Research Institute in Brisbane! Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Hon. Karen Andrews MP was on hand to open our offices and announce the IMNIS Regional Queensland Initiative that will see six PhD students from James Cook University and six students from CQ University have access to industry mentors in their university program. IMNIS Executive Director Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea AM, IMNIS mentor Kym Baker from Patheon and IMNIS mentee Nick Lee were also there to share the impact of IMNIS on their professional journeys.
30. Part 2 - The 2019 MedTech Conference
The MTPConnect podcast team bring you more on the ground conversations with international delegates and our Australian companies at the 2019 MedTech Conference in Boston. Check out Dr Kath Giles and the OncoRes Medical team and Macuject’s Devinder Chauhan. JP Morgan's Mike Gietl, Evidence Matters' Leslie Wise, Nine Point Medical's Eman Namati and Austrade USA’s Elizabeth also share their experiences, observations and advice on getting Australian medtech into the US market.
29. Opening up International Markets: On the Ground at the 2019 MedTech Conference
The 2019 MedTech Conference is underway and the MTPConnect team is on the ground in Boston to bring you exclusive chats with Australian delegates like Bionics Institute’s CEO Robert Klupacs and international participants like Finland’s Marcello van Rossum from the Helsinki Business Hub.
28. Introducing Noisy Guts – an Australian Nobel Laureate’s take on MedTech Commercialisation
We have a Nobel Laureate in the house for this week’s MTPConnect Podcast. Professor of Microbiology at UWA - and 2005 Nobel Prize winner - Professor Barry Marshall joins the MTPConnect team, along with Dr Josephine Muir, the CEO & Co-Founder of WA start-up, Noisy Guts. On the agenda - medtech innovation, the challenges of translation and how AI is changing everything.
27. Making Connections at the 2019 MedTech Conference
The 2019 MedTech Conference is fast approaching and Melbourne-based Hydrix will be there are part of the Aussie delegation. We chat to the company’s Director of Business Development Richard Stephens about his plans and expectations for this years’ conference.
26. Why Australia is a Go-To Destination for Clinical Trials
The MTPConnect Podcast team recently caught up with Pfizer Ventures Managing Partner Dr Barbara Dalton to talk about Australia’s strengths as a destination to conduct clinical trials. Dr Dalton discusses what’s so attractive about Australia to international companies and we explore the potential to grow the export earning potential of our clinical trials ecosystem.
25. Spotlight: Enhancing Australia’s 3D Bioprinting Capabilities with TRICEP
Wollongong, south of Sydney, is famous for beaches, rainforests and increasingly its world-leading 3D bioprinting facility, TRICEP. In this episode of the MTPConnect podcast series, we tour TRICEP, speak with its Director Professor Gordon Wallace and Dr Stephen Beirne and delve into the world of cellular engineering and bioprinting.
24. Kath & Kate - Enhancing MedTech Innovation in WA
MTPConnect is thrilled to be supporting Western Australia’s burgeoning life sciences sector which is producing standout startups like OncoRes Medical. In this episode we meet their Managing Director and CEO Dr Kath Giles and introduce the new Director of Stakeholder Engagement at the MTPConnect WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub, Dr Kate Brooks.
23. On the Ground at the ARCS Australia Conference
The ARCS Australia conference, supported by MTPConnect, has wrapped up for another year. It brought together key leaders in the MTP sector - and we chatted with many of them in this episode of our podcast series.
22. Spotlight: MTP skills and manufacturing capabilities with TRI & Vaxxas
The Translational Research Institute and Vaxxas are supported by MTPConnect through the Growth Centre Initiative to increase Australia’s skills and capabilities in manufacturing. This week, we’re in Brisbane where our COO Stuart Dignam chats to TRI’s Michelle Richards and Vaxxas’s Charles Ross to discuss the impact of their projects.
21. Spotlight: Therapeutics and the Importance of Cancer Research
Brett Carter is the CEO of the Cancer Therapeutics CRC and he joins us in the MTPConnect podcast studio to chat his team’s work, their project to build a comprehensive drug discovery library and the growing importance of cancer immunotherapy.
20. Bionics in Boston: Join our delegation to the 2019 MedTech Conference
The Bionics Institute has signed-up to join MTPConnect’s delegation to the 2019 MedTech Conference in Boston in September -- and you can too. CEO Robert Klupacs chats with us about the benefits of being part of the Australian delegation. He also shares his insights on how to take advantage of the conference and strategies for building connections and opening-up new market opportunities.
19. Exploring Emerging Megatrends to Innovate Your Health
In this episode, we take you to the Innovate Health conference and our Managing Director & CEO’s keynote address. Dr Dan Grant traces the history of megatrends in health and medical research and explores the emerging megatrends set to disrupt healthcare — all discussed in our new Sector Competitiveness Plan (available to download now).
18. From Queensland to Iceland and Back: Spend a Day in a Life Sciences Life
WuXi NextCODE Chief Strategy Officer Alex Fowkes joins MTPConnect Managing Director and CEO Dr Dan Grant in the our podcast studio to talk about his career in life sciences which has seen him traverse the globe. Alex shares insights into how far Australia has come, what the future may look like in life sciences and the rise and rise of areas like precision medicine and genomics.
17. Advancing STEM Education with BioEYES
BioEYES is an internationally-recognised STEM education program through Monash University’s Biomedicine Discovery Institute (BDI) and the Australian Regenerative Medicine Insitute (ARMI). Monash BDI Outreach Education Coordinator Laura Reid takes BioEYES to primary and secondary schools across Victoria, opening kids’ minds to the power of STEM - and the magic of zebrafish.
16. The Lowdown – everything you need to know about the Biomedical Translation Bridge program
The $22.3 million Biomedical Translation Bridge program opens for applications on 1 July. MTPConnect and our BTB partners BioCurate, UniQuest, the Medical Device Partnering Program and the Bridge and BridgeTech Programs took to the stage at the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre for an Information Session on how you can apply to the program and more!
15. Opening Up International Markets: On The Ground at BIO 2019
MTPConnect has been on the ground in the city of Brotherly love, Philadelphia as part of the big Australian delegation to the 2019 BIO International Convention. It's the world's biggest gathering of the biotech and pharma sector and in this episode our COO Stuart Dignam and our Managing Director and CEO Dr Dan Grant take you inside BIO, bringing you interviews with some of the key people.
14. Meet MTPConnect's Chair - Sue MacLeman
In this episode, we introduce MTPConnect’s inaugural CEO, now Chair – Sue MacLeman. Sue steps into the MTPConnect podcast studio to reflect on her career, how being a mentor for IMNIS has made her positive about the future of STEM professionals and to discuss the way forward for MTPConnect and the sector.
13. Oranges and Lemons - and the World’s First Clinical Trial
To mark International Clinical Trials Day, we’ve brought together a high powered panel to explore why clinical trials are so important to patient health - and national wealth.
Our CEO Dr Dan Grant is joined in the MTPConnect podcast studio by special guests CT:IQ Program Director Leanne Weekes, GSK Australia’s Head of Clinical Research Carrie Bloomfield and from California, Deep 6 AI Vice President Eric Gildenhuys.
12. Spotlight: Preparing for BIO 2019 with AusBiotech
As AusBiotech prepares to lead the largest ever Australian delegation to the BIO International Convention in Philadelphia, its CEO Lorraine Chiroiu joins MTPConnect CEO Dr Dan Grant in the MTPConnect Podcast studio to give you tips on how to maximise opportunities from the mission.
11. Spotlight: Boosting Mentoring in MedTech and Pharma
Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) Executive Director Dr Marguerite Evans-Galea comes into the MTPConnect Podcast Studio to discuss the importance of mentoring in career development and how IMNIS is working to boost mentoring opportunities across Australia. MTPConnect CEO Dr Dan Grant also joins us and shares his experiences as a mentee.
10. Spotlight: Partnering For Medical Device Success
In Melbourne for the official launch of their Victorian office, the Medical Device Partnering Program’s Director Professor Karen Reynolds and newly appointed Regional Director for Victoria Professor Sally McArthur stopped by the MTPConnect Podcast Studio to discuss all things partnering, trends in medical devices and what they hope their expansion into Victoria will hold.
9. Spotlight: Building a Bridge Towards Commercialisation
How does Australia get better at commercialising its world-class research? QUT Executive Director Professor Lyn Griffiths leads the Bridge and BridgeTech programs which help mid-career entrepreneurs and scientists with practical skills on pharmaceutical and medical technology commercialisation. She came into the MTPConnect podcast studio to chat about strategies for enhancing the commercialisation pathway.
8. Opening up International Markets: How to Break into the United States
For medtech, pharma and digital health innovators, cracking the US market can make all the difference for a business venture.
It’s equally parts lucrative and challenging.
We invited Frank Jaskulke, VP Intelligence at the Medical Alley Association in Minnesota, and our very own GM Stakeholder Engagement Dr Alfredo Martinez-Coll into the MTPConnect podcast studio to break down the do's and dont's of a US market entry strategy.
7. Spotlight: Take a Tour of St Vincent’s BioFab3D Lab
Join MTPConnect for an access-all-areas tour of the St Vincent’s Hospital BioFab3D lab in Melbourne. Centre Manager Cathal O’Connell is our guide as we explore the BioFab3d@ACMD and BioPen projects, both supported by MTPConnect.
6. Opening Up International Markets: On The Ground in Hong Kong
MTPConnect is participating in AusBiotech's Australian delegation to Hong Kong and Shanghai for the third Asian Investment Series. Our CEO Dr Dan Grant was on the ground in Hong Kong to discuss the importance of building relationships with Chinese companies and investors, the burgeoning potential of Asian markets and the potential for foreign direct investment into Australia's MTP sector.
5. Spotlight: Health Innovations are on the Horizon
Healthtech start-up Health Horizon has developed a unique platform to track development of Australian health innovations. Their project was supported through the MTPConnect Project Fund Program. Co-Founder Mathew McGann joins the MTPConnect Podcast with Director Major Projects, Elizabeth Stares, to tell us more about the platform and how consumers have come to appreciate it.
4. Breaking News: $150M Stem Cell Research Injection
Today, the Australian Government announced a $150 million injection for the establishment of the Stem Cell Mission to boost health and medical research in Australia. The announcement was made by the Minister for Health Hon. Greg Hunt MP - MTPConnect was on hand for the big news and to catch up with the Mission's Co-Chairs Professor Melissa Little and Professor Mark Kendall.
3. Spotlight: CCRM AU & Future Therapies
Silvio Tiziani is the CEO of CCRM Australia and the Director of ARMI at Monash University. He chatted with us about CCRM Australia’s work in the regenerative medicine sector and what role it plays in advancing the future health of patients in Australian and globally.
2. Venture Forward
Lisa Suennen – known by her Twitter followers as the Venture Valkyerie – recently visited Australia from the US. She’s an entrepreneur, a Group Leader of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips looking after its Digital and Technology businesses and Founder of CSweetener. Lisa joined ANDHealth for its recent Digital Health Summit and Women in Digital Health luncheon to talk about entrepreneurship, venture capital, gender equity and the future of digital health.
Episode 1 - BTB & CRC-P
In this first episode of the MTPConnect Podcast Series, we are joined by our CEO Dr Dan Grant and GM Stakeholder Engagement Dr Alfredo Martinez-Coll. We delve into many of the big issues for the Australian medtech, biotech and pharma (MTP) sector including, digital health, precision medicine, regenerative medicine. We also look at what it takes to craft and develop a successful grant application to take your innovation to the next level. Even the Minister for Health Hon. Greg Hunt MP stops with a big announcement to boost research and commercialisation.