National recognition for medical device collaboration

karen-reynolds-2Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) has been named Best Research and Development Collaboration in the prestigious annual Business/Higher Education Round Table (B-HERT) Awards.

Established in 2008 by Professor Karen Reynolds (pictured with the B-HERT Award) from Flinders School of Computer Science, Engineering and Mathematics with the support of the South Australian Government, the MDPP is a collaboration between researchers at Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, the University of South Australia, end-users and industry to develop cutting-edge medical devices and assistive technologies and bring them to the market.

Flinders Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Barber, in congratulating Professor Reynolds and her team, said the MDPP was unique in the Australian R&D environment.

“The MDPP has succeeded where others have failed to break down the barriers between research institutions and industry,” Professor Barber said.

“Thanks to the support of the South Australian Government, particularly through the Premier’s Science and Research Fund and the Office for the Ageing (now the Disability, Ageing and Carers branch), more than 100 companies have received the assistance of the MDPP in developing a variety of medical devices from concept stage,” he said.

“It demonstrates emphatically that given the right circumstances and with the right support, industry is willing and able to work with universities, and academics are willing and able to engage with industry in a very effective way.”

MDPP Director Professor Karen Reynolds, 2010 Australian Professional Engineer of the Year and recently elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering, said a primary strength of the MDPP is its role as a broker.

“It allows us to quickly put a medical device company of any size in touch with relevant people, be they researchers, manufacturers or clinicians,” Professor Reynolds said.

“We have a transparent model for intellectual property and we also very carefully scope each project to ensure all stakeholder expectations are met,” she said.

“The MDPP is thrilled to receive the B-HERT Award. It is a great honour and a tribute to the vision and dedication of all our partners.”

The B-HERT Awards were established in 1998 to recognise outstanding achievement in collaboration between business and higher education in the fields of research & development and education & training. The objective of the program is to highlight at a national level the benefits of such collaboration and enhance links between industry and universities.

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