New funding to grow SA’s medtech industry

South Australia’s position as a leader in medical technology innovation has been cemented thanks to $1.5 million in State Government funding.

Launched in South Australia in 2008, the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) was founded by Flinders University and is based in the laboratory facilities at the Tonsley Innovation District. Since its inception, the MDPP has played a critical role in driving early stage development and manufacturing of innovative medical and assistive technologies.

Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni said the funding will boost the state’s growing medical technology sector and encourage greater collaboration between industry and researchers to help turn ideas into investable technologies for global markets. 

“Our $1.5 million investment confirms South Australia is home to the national Medical Device Partnering Program and highlights our state’s position as a national leader in medical technology development and commercialisation,” said Minister Pisoni.

“Over the next five years, the program will support approximately 30 projects, creating up to 15 medical technology start-ups and knowledge-based employment opportunities in South Australia.

“We want to grow the state’s medical technology pipeline to help existing companies and start-ups leverage and connect with research and commercial expertise, clinical and health professionals and manufacturers to rapidly develop ideas and bring them to market.

“The medical technology sector is thriving and we want to give South Australian businesses and manufacturers every opportunity to develop new capabilities to tap into these opportunities.”

Flinders University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling said the MDPP program is a model of innovation with a proven track record as an ideas incubator.

“The MDPP model is unique in Australia and has proven its credentials in connecting entrepreneurs with the skills and resources embedded in our research organisations, clinical communities and industry sector. This speaks to Flinders University’s strategy to foster business, industry and entrepreneurial skills development, to grow South Australia’s economy,” said Professor Stirling.

“In the past decade our collaborative research partnerships have delivered significant innovations for businesses. This has been a catalyst for economic growth and is helping forge a resilient, internationally progressive sector that delivers for SA.

“Medical technology development contributes some $2 billion annually to the national economy. We are delighted that the State Government recognises the value of supporting the medtech industry and we look forward to strengthening this important relationship to ensure South Australia remains at the forefront of this growing field of medical technical advances.”

Past client and Phantom Precision Engineering (PPE) General Manager, Randall Wilson said the MDPP was instrumental in helping to fast-track his company’s dental invention to market.

For more than five years PPE has been manufacturing custom solutions and parts for dental laboratories to enable dental surgeons to operate on existing, obsolete dental implants.

“With the fantastic help from the MDPP, the team at PPE has been able to develop a new innovative product that can be offered to the dental industry with cost and safety benefits to patients,” Mr Wilson said.

“It also offers improved performance for dental surgeons.

“With trademarks and patents in place, the next stage for this innovative product and the company is to move into commercialisation and expand both national and international sales.”

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