Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and digital health sector supports 70,000 Australian jobs and contributed more than $5 billion in Gross Value Added (GVA) to the Australian economy in 2019. Its future growth is dependent on the skills of its workforce.
Driving skills development and workforce training
The MTPConnect REDI initiative leverages the expertise of our research, training and industry partners to drive skills development and workforce training, through deployment of an integrated, three-pillar plan.
The $32 million REDI initiative is funded through the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund, which rolled out in 2020 and will continue over four years.
Over the four-years of the REDI initiative, REDI will strive to build the MTP (medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical) workforce, address skills gaps and enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem to:
- Provide a skills development blueprint across the MTP value chain through a comprehensive (‘root and branch’) skills gap analysis
- Deliver systemic improvement to Australia’s MTP workforce by providing industry experiences and skills development for researchers, clinicians, MTP professionals and innovators
- Create new training, mentoring and industry placements
- Develop an industry-ready workforce with the skills necessary to keep pace with a rapidly changing sector
MTPConnect REDI Skills Gaps Analysis Reports
REDI has delivered a forward-looking ‘root and branch’ analysis of the MTP workforce to provide a deep understanding of current and future skills gaps. The Interim Report, launched in November 2020, identified priority skills gaps that need to be addressed across the sector in the near-term
Building on the Interim report, the second report launched in March 2021, is a comprehensive review detailing a larger range of skills gaps to address in the short, medium and long-term.
Later in 2021, a third review of the impact of REDI programs on skills gaps will be undertaken to direct the final investment of REDI funding. Read more.
MTPConnect REDI Fellowship Program
In December 2020, the REDI Fellowship Program was launched providing grants of up to $250,000 for industry to secure Fellowships for Fellows from academia. This unique workforce initiative is giving industry the opportunity to accelerate a collaboration with a researcher, academic, clinician or MTP professional. The focus is on priority medical research projects involving discovery, translation and commercialisation towards human health outcomes. It will require that the researcher or clinician return to their home institution for a period at least equal to the term of the Fellowship.
The REDI Three Pillar Approach Towards Addressing Skills Gaps
Pillar One: Expansion of Proven Programs
MTPConnect is partnering with training, mentoring, internship, entrepreneurship and incubator organisations to support expansion of their proven training programs to deliver deeper impact by addressing known skills gaps.
Pillar Two: Identifying unknown skills gaps and implementing new programs
The ‘root and branch’ analysis of the MTP workforce has identified and prioritised skills gaps across the MTP sector that need to be addressed. It is informed by MTPConnect’s Sector Competitiveness Plan and links with national MTP industry and research bodies. The analysis is an essential step in preparing Australia’s MTP workforce to meet future demands. It will form the foundation for REDI to deliver a contestable program of new initiatives to fill skills gaps not currently addressed.
Pillar Three: Industry placements, internships and fellowships
To ensure workforce skills align with industry needs and drive industry-research-clinical-entrepreneurship connections, REDI will provide targeted short, medium and long-term industry placements, internships and fellowships for PhD students, clinicians, early stage, mid-career and distinguished researchers and MTP professionals.
Skills Gaps Addressed:
- Advanced Manufacturing and Supply Chain
- Business Operations
- Clinical Trials
- Health Data and Cyber Security
- Health Economics and Regulatory Affairs
- Product Development & Commercialisation Skills
- Specialist and Technical Skills
- Industry Fellowships/Internships
- Industry Mentoring
Building the MTP Sector Workforce for the Future
To ensure alignment with industry needs, leading research, industry and member organisations will contribute to the MTPConnect REDI initiative through a Steering Committee, with representation including Research Australia, CSL, Innovative Manufacturing CRC, Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Industry Reference Committee and relevant State departments. This collaborative and inclusive approach will enable an exhaustive identification of shortages, strengths and competitive advantage for Australia’s MTP sector. View the announcement here.
For further information please contact Director REDI initiative Jarrod Belcher.
ANDHealth is Australia’s only organisation dedicated to providing commercialisation support programs designed exclusively for digital and connected health technologies and companies. Our mission is to strengthen the Australian digital health ecosystem and support Australian digital health companies to prepare for institutional investment and international market entry. ANDHealth’s non-equity-taking, industry-led programs actively de-risk digital health innovations across key areas of clinical and commercial validation, providing hands-on support, access to clinical and industry experts, and to global networks. In partnership with REDI, ANDHealth will be delivering a BRIGHT Innovation, BRIGHT Ideate and Digital Health Masterclass annually.
Visit ANDHealth to learn more.
Australian Postgraduate Research (APR) Intern is Australia’s only all sector—all discipline PhD internship program, transforming Australian businesses through university research collaborations. Working at the nexus between industry and academia, APR.Intern is a not-for-profit program open to all universities and industry sectors, including small-to-medium and large enterprise as well as government agencies. APR.Intern provides a platform for industry to further develop and innovate through short- term 3-5 month tightly focused research projects and gives postgraduate students the opportunity to apply highly analytical research expertise to the project while gaining invaluable experience in an industry setting.
Visit APR.Intern for more information.
Bridge and BridgeTech programs (Queensland University of Technology)
The Bridge Program provides commercialisation training focused on the development of new pharmaceuticals in collaboration with a number of partners including universities and leading pharmaceutical companies. Similarly, the BridgeTech Program provides commercialisation training for researchers and entrepreneurs with a focus on the medtech sector in partnership with Australian universities, medtech companies and industry partners. The BridgeTech and Bridge Program, now in their third and fourth year respectively, select up to 100 participants annually from around Australia to take part in these fully-supported training programs.
Visit the Bridge Program to learn more about pharmaceutical commercialisation.
Visit the BridgeTech Program for more information about medtech commercialisation.
Follow REDI activities on Twitter: @redi_qut
Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) (Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering)
The Industry Mentoring Network in STEM (IMNIS) is an award-winning national industry engagement initiative of the Academy that connects motivated PhD students with influential senior-level industry leaders in a one-year mentoring program.
IMNIS aims to break down barriers between industry and academia, increase mentees’ understanding of industry and the commercialisation/innovation process, educate mentees so they can identify and strengthen the skills needed to succeed in industry, and to extend their professional networks beyond academia.
Vist IMNIS to learn more.
GSK is a science-led global healthcare company with three global businesses that research, develop and manufacture innovative pharmaceutical medicines, vaccines and consumer healthcare products. The company is currently focusing on novel medicines in immuno-oncology, immuno-inflammatory, HIV, and infectious diseases (including COVID-19 therapy areas).
GSK Australia has developed a new PhD Graduate Program to facilitate the cross pollination of scientific, academic research expertise with that of the Pharmaceutical Industry. The GSK Graduate Researcher Program is built on the successful Industry leading IBL (Industry Based Learning) program it already offers to Undergraduate students in their final year of University. Over three years, the Graduate Researcher Program will select six PhD Postgraduates for a 12-month placement assigning them to lead on core projects in areas such as early product development, medical affairs and regulatory affairs.
GSK aims to build Industry capabilities of Australian researchers and establish their career foundations, while also accelerating efforts to deliver medicines and vaccines to Australian communities and patients. GSK is eager to see the critical thinking and creativity that the incoming PhD Graduates can bring to the business.
Visit GSK Australia for more information.
Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP)
The Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is an ideas incubator driving entrepreneurial culture within the medtech sector. The Program fosters collaborations between researchers, industry, end-users and government and develop novel medical devices with global market potential. It forms the essential links between clinical need and knowledge with technical expertise and industry know-how.
Visit MDPP for more information.
The MedTech Actuator is Asia Pacific’s MedTech catalyst. Through dynamic, venture-backed programs, we prime and build capability in the innovation ecosystem, accelerate MedTech, HealthTech and BioTech ventures and provide curated opportunities for investment.
The MedTech Actuator connects a broad commercialisation ecosystem with a powerful network of over 85 partners spanning global medical technology companies, universities, research institutes, advanced manufacturers and regulatory and clinical experts.
Visit MedTech Actuator for more details.
The George Institute for Global Health
The George Institute (TGI) is an independent medical research institute established and headquartered in Sydney, Australia with major centres in China, India and UK and an international network of experts and collaborators across more than 50 countries. The George Institute is affiliated with world renowned universities, such as UNSW Sydney, and our researchers have been recognised among the world’s best for scientific impact and excellence. We work with governments, health facilities, communities and organisations to address health challenges that cause the greatest loss of life and impairment of life quality globally.
Visit the George Institute to find out more.
Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC)
The Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre (VCCC) is a powerful alliance of 10 leading research, academic and clinical institutions working together to accelerate and amplify leading-edge cancer research, knowledge and expertise to benefit the Victorian community. The fundamental premise is that a comprehensive cancer centre of integrated organisations will gain far greater benefits in cancer more quickly than an individual organisation could achieve alone.
Visit the VCCC for more information.