Industry partnership aims to heal wound control problem

University of Newcastle

University of Newcastle experts and industry leaders will join forces to develop new ways to address wound control, a distressing problem that costs the Australian healthcare industry $3.5b each year.

Minister for Industry and Science, Hon Ed Husic MP, announced $44m in AusIndustry Cooperative Research Centre – Projects (CRC-P) grants to fund 19 industry-led collaborations with researchers and end users.

Newcastle researchers, led by Professor Sarah Johnson, will work with Hunter-based therapeutic goods manufacturer Whiteley Corporation, ResTech – a joint venture between Ampcontrol and the University of Newcastle – and Western Sydney University to develop better treatments for chronic wounds.

The latest grant worth $1.97m brings the total funding for the ‘Effective management of Chronic Wounds’ project to $5.6m over three years.

Outcomes delivered through this Cooperative Research Centre have the potential to deliver medical improvements in Australia and worldwide.

University of Newcastle Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Zee Upton said its researchers were renowned for finding new ways to help people live better, healthier lives.

“We also have a strong track record of working with industry partners to turn innovative ideas into real-world solutions,” Professor Upton said.

Effective management of chronic wounds requires a combination of treatments that include wound debridement, an anti-biofilm treatment, wound mapping, and a deeper tissue perception of bacterial engagement beyond the wound surface, which cannot typically be seen. This collaboration aims to tackle those elements not as individual, stand-alone issues but through a holistic approach to chronic wound care.

Executive Chairman of Whiteley Corporation, Associate Professor Greg Whiteley, said the work would be of major medical impact worldwide.

“Chronic wounds start with a minor skin injury that doesn’t heal but progresses to a problem costing $3.5 billion each year in Australia alone,” he said.

“We’re very excited to partner with Ampcontrol for the first time. This brings together two teams with exceptional research cultures in combination with two universities, also known for their excellence in research.”

Ampcontrol Managing Director and CEO, Rod Henderson, said he was thrilled to be a partner in the industry-led medical research collaboration.

“The funding enables industry innovators, researchers, students, and end-users to work together to deliver real outcomes for our community, including job growth within Australian manufacturing to support our local economy.”

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