Funding puts Flinders at centre of new wave of medical technology

MDPP Director Professor Karen Reynolds (right) with Flinders researcher Dhara Amin at the launch of the MTPConnect project at Flinders. Photo: MTP Connect

Flinders University’s Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) is poised for a national roll-out thanks to funding from the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre (MTPConnect).

The MDPP, already a major player in helping to bring South Australian medical technologies to market, now has its sights firmly set on bringing together research, clinical and industry partners in a streamlined process for collaboration and product development across Australia.

Based at Flinders’ Tonsley innovation precinct and led by Professor Karen Reynolds, the program has been one of the shining stars in Flinders University’s major contribution to South Australia’s economic transformation.

MTPConnect, which received 38 applications, announced the $7.4m of funding over two years for 14 national projects in the med tech, biotech and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector.

In addition, those projects could leverage millions of dollars more in industry partner funds, with a proposed $90m of matched funding coming from the sector.

“This is a ringing endorsement of the work being done in South Australia by Flinders University’s MDPP and opens the door to us achieving even greater success at the national level,” said Professor Reynolds.

“It puts Flinders at the centre of a new wave of groundbreaking research and collaboration that will help to ensure the best medical technologies reach market, creating new opportunities for business and researchers, and ultimately contributing to better health outcomes for all Australians.”

(L-R) MTPConnect CEO Sue MacLeman, MDRI Director Professor Karen Reynolds, and MTPConnect Chair Dr Bronwyn Evans at the launch of MTPConnect’s SA Hub at Tonsley.

A second MTPConnect grant in the latest round was given to Vaxine Pty Ltd, a South Australian vaccine development company led by research director Professor Nikolai Petrovky, the director of Endocrinology, Flinders School of Medicine. The funding will enable a national audit of vaccination activity across Australia.

MTPConnect’s CEO, Sue MacLeman, said the 14 projects had been selected for their potential to deliver results on a national scale, have sector-wide impact, and which are aligned with MTPConnect’s Sector Growth Priorities as defined in its draft Sector Competitiveness Plan.

“The MTP sector has a fantastic opportunity for growth, but is currently hindered by constraints including a lack of collaboration between business and research, skills shortages, the need for more focused funding and investment, and the need for more streamlined and harmonised regulatory and market access frameworks,” said Ms MacLeman.

“There also needs to be a focus on globally competitive incentives and long-term policy vision and stability. The selection panel has chosen these 14 projects because they creatively address many of these barriers and have the potential to have a major impact on the sector.”

MTPConnect’s Project Funds have been made available as part of the Australian Government’s $250 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative.

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