Govt Medical Device program hopes to make great ideas a reality

17 July, 2014

NSW Minister for Health and Minister for Medical Research Jillian Skinner on Wednesday (16 July) invited applications for a prestigious international post-doctoral program which is being offered in Australia for the first time.

"The NSW government has developed the NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program to promote the discovery and application of new treatments, diagnostic techniques and devices," Skinner said.

"It is vital we support researchers to bring their medical devices to market, as these devices have the power to greatly enhance the quality of life for people living with a range of medical conditions."

Open to all 2014 graduates

Expressions of interest in the NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program are invited from post-doctoral researchers, doctoral, PhD and masters candidates who will complete their degrees in 2014. A demonstrated interest in medical device innovation and commercialisation is essential.

Twenty candidates will undertake a three-month program in NSW with ATP Innovations, a technology incubator with a proven record in driving the commercialisation of medical devices.

The 20 candidates will develop key skills such as entrepreneurial literacy, persistence and understanding of the process of commercialisation.

At the end of the three-month program, up to two candidates will be chosen to travel to San Francisco to participate in the NSW-QB3 Rosenman Scholar Program.

The scholar program will allow them to work with clinicians and local organisations recognised for expertise in medical device innovation and translation.

An incentive to innovate

The NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program is one of several innovative programs created by the NSW government to support the translation of research into clinical outcomes for patients.

These include the NSW Medical Devices Fund, which in 2013 awarded a total of $10.3 million to five outstanding medical technologies.

"These devices and technologies are inspiring, from one which improves skin repair for burns victims to another which offers new hope to patients with a failing heart valve," Skinner said.

"But perhaps most exciting of all is the implantable device developed by Saluda Medical to supply constant pain relief to people suffering chronic pain.

"The potential of this world-first technology is enormous – it could transform countless lives."

Up to $7.7 million is available in the 2014 round of the NSW Medical Devices Fund, which will be announced shortly.

"The NSW government understands that the road from a great idea to commercial reality is long and fraught with challenges and that whatever support we can offer medical researchers now will yield enormous benefits for patients down the track," Skinner said.

Applications and guidelines for the NSW Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program are available from the Office for Health and Medical Research.