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New funding to boost Australian medical tech innovations

Credit: Flinders University

The growing medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sector will be boosted by the A$ 22.3 million Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program through the Flinders University-led Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP).

As reported, the Biomedical Translation Bridge program will support the translation of Australian medical research projects through to the proof-of-concept stage.

The BTB program has a strong commercial imperative.

It drives the development of research initiatives aiming to improve the health of Australians, but also generate commercial returns to help create the high paying jobs of the future.

A key feature of the program is the provision of expert advice, education and mentoring to those preparing applications and those awarded funding.

The program, which is a part of the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund, is MTPConnect’s third scheme.

MTPConnect explained

MTPConnect is already responsible for two schemes for the Federal Government. These schemes provide funding to 48 projects across the country.

Being awarded with this new and exciting health program is welcome recognition of their achievements and will be added to the aforementioned 48 projects.

The national MTPConnect program will offer funding up to A$ 1 million over three years to develop promising new therapies, health technologies and medical devices.

Partnerships involved

This was made possible through partnerships with the MDPP at the University’s Medical Research Institute two other national translation and commercialisation groups.

One of which is BioCurate, a joint venture between the University of Melbourne and Monash University. The second is UniQuest, through the drug discovery arm of the University of Queensland.

MDPP Director and the Director of the Medical Device Research Institute Professor Karen Reynolds shared that MDPP has a 10-year track record of successfully facilitating early-stage ideation and research for new medical devices.

The new BTB program will leverage their diverse connections and expertise to optimise the success of Australia’s medtech ventures.

The partners bring decades of industry-based experience and an enviable track record in research translation to the program.

How BTB works

By joining forces, a powerful partnership venture was created that brings national reach, industry capabilities and expertise and commercial know-how to the task of boosting translation of Australia’s health-tech research.

Successful applicants will receive hands-on guidance and mentoring and project management advice throughout the life of the program, leveraging the industry and commercialisation experience of the partners.

By ensuring every application receives support, the program will help build capabilities across the sector, not just within those organisations selected for funding.

Call for applications

The latest A$22.3 million program, which was announced by the Minister for Health Greg Hunt and the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology Karen Andrews will open calls for applications in 2019.

This will be accompanied by workshops in each capital city and in major regional centres such as Townsville, Newcastle, Wollongong and Geelong.

This will be done to build awareness and ensure a high number of quality applications are received.

Funding of between A$ 200,000 and A$ 1 million will be available for a period of up to three years. Applicants will be required to provide one-to-one matching funding to be eligible.

Additional rounds will be called every six months, with frequency in later years dependent on the number of applications re-applying and extent of residual funds.

Moreover, the BTB program will establish an expert selection panel that will assess, triage and select eligible ventures to be recommended to the Minister for Health for program funding.

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