National boost for medtech pipeline

MDPP team pictured with the Hon. Philip Dalidakis, Victorian Minister for Trade & Investment and Dr Kate Cornick, CEO of LaunchVic

The Flinders Founded Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) will expand its operations beyond South Australia into Victoria, thanks to support from LaunchVic, the state government agency charged with growing the Victorian startup ecosystem.

Announced officially this afternoon by the Hon. Philip Dalidakis MP, Victorian Minister for Trade & Investment, Innovation & the Digital Economy, Small Business, and Dr Kate Cornick, CEO of LaunchVic, the MDPP will receive $2 million funding over two years to deliver the program in Victoria.

The Victorian MDPP partnership is led by Swinburne University of Technology and brings together CSIRO, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) and BioMedical Research Victoria. It leverages the proven model and processes developed and implemented by Flinders University across 10 years.

National MDPP Director and Founder, Professor Karen Reynolds, says this first important step in national expansion will deliver significant benefits not only to South Australia and Victoria, but will add impetus to medical technology research in Australia as a whole.

“In the past decade the MDPP at Flinders University has created a streamlined model for early-stage medtech development. This exciting, strategic expansion reinforces the strong foundation of expertise that has been established in South Australia. A wonderful way to mark our 10th anniversary, the establishment of our sister entity adds critical mass to our efforts and is an important step in delivering benefits to the sector in Australia more broadly”, Professor Reynolds says.

“I am very pleased to announce Professor Sally McArthur, Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Swinburne and CSIRO Research+ Science Leader in Biomedical Manufacturing, as the Regional Director of MDPP in Victoria.

“We are also incredibly fortunate to have Lusia Guthrie, Deputy Chair, BioMelbourne Network, leading Victoria’s Steering Committee. Lusia has been instrumental in the expansion of the MDPP, and brings with her a wealth of knowledge in the medtech sector”.

Professor McArthur is excited about the prospects for Victoria, not only in connecting the stakeholders in the medtech sector, but in creating new ventures and employment opportunities for the State.

“Victoria has excellent research expertise and an entrepreneurial clinical community. The MDPP provides a vehicle to connect the medtech ecosystem, untap ideas and rapidly progress new product opportunities”, says Professor McArthur.

The national expansion of the MDPP has been supported by MTP Connect and the Growth Centres Initiative. Over the past 12 months, the MDPP have been busily engaging across the country, holding workshops in Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia, as well as internationally in Singapore.

“We are passionate about supporting the development of the medical device industry and working with a wide range of stakeholders who can achieve that” says Professor Reynolds.

Flinders University’s President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling says “The MDPP is living up to the Flinders ambition of Making a Difference – its dedicated researchers have been instrumental in life changing breakthroughs, from our ReTimer glasses to help combat jetlag and sleep disturbances to the Austofix device to help surgeons more accurately repair broken bones.”

“We’re delighted to be extending our expertise, knowledge and initiative interstate, and look forward to being joined by an exceptional array of researchers sharing their talents via the MDPP’s new team in Victoria” says Professor Stirling.

The MDPP will soon begin recruitment for the Victorian-based team, with an official opening anticipated for early 2019.

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