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 $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative is delivered by MTPConnect for the Australian Government’s Medical Research Future Fund. REDI is providing industry experiences and skills development for students, researchers, clinicians, MTP (medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical) sector professionals, entrepreneurs, and innovators. The initiative is building an industry-ready workforce with the skills and capacity to keep pace with the demands of a rapidly changing sector - for now, and the immediate future.
Launched in 2020, the four-year REDI initiative will build the MTP 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
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.
The third review, 'Positioning the MTP workforce for post-pandemic prosperity', examines skills gaps that have grown in importance because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Collectively, these three reports provide a skills development blueprint to ensure Australia’s MTP workforce is industry-ready, fit for purpose and appropriately positioned to capitalise on current and future global opportunities.
Based on the findings from the MTPConnect REDI Skills Gap reports, REDI has held competitive tenders to select quality Australian companies and organisations to close selected skills gaps of high priority.
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 the industry an opportunity to accelerate collaboration with a researcher, clinician or MTP professional. The focus is on priority medical research projects involving discovery, translation and commercialisation towards human health outcomes. It requires 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
Skills Gaps Addressed:
REDI is partnering with research, training, and industry organisations to support skills development and workforce training across nine Skill Gap themes:
- 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.
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REDI Case Studies
- Driving entrepreneurship education to solve global health challenges
- Mastering commercial success for digital health start ups
- Empowering scientists with training in the growing clinical trials sector
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