MRFF backs development of devices through to early stage manufacturing

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MTPConnect has announced that $3.2 million of funding is now available to support the research and development of medical devices as they enter human clinical trials and early-stage manufacturing.

The funding, which was formally announced by health minister Greg Hunt, is being made available through the fourth round of the $45 million BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program. This program is an initiative of the Medical Research Future Fund that is operated by MTPConnect.

Minister Hunt said, "The BMTH program has already achieved great results, with recent funding recipient WearOptimo announcing a deal to manufacture its next-generation Microwearable sensor health technology.

"The wearable device gives patients, and their doctors, early warning of heart attacks, heatstroke and other life-threatening events. The device will be manufactured in Brisbane and distributed worldwide.

"The Government supported WearOptimo’s research through the BMTH program, to develop the Microwearable technology itself and then its application in monitoring dehydration and cardiac health."

MTPConnect managing director and CEO, Dr Dan Grant, said this will be the final funding round for BMTH and it will provide a unique opportunity for Australian small to medium-size enterprises (SMEs) to accelerate the development of their cutting-edge medical technologies through to early-stage manufacturing in Australia.

“The BMTH program supports new medical technologies to reach proof-of-concept, or beyond, so they are attractive for private capital investment and commercialisation,” said Dr Grant.

“In Round 4, $3.2 million will be deployed into four projects that can be completed within 12-months, see the device move beyond a Technology Readiness Level Scale Level (TRL) of 5 and involve manufacturing in Australia.

“Australian-based SMEs are eligible, but they must control or have the legal right to access and use the patent(s), trademarks or other intellectual property necessary to undertake the proposed activities and matched funding is required.

“The projects we back for this fourth and final round of the BMTH program will see the production of medical device prototypes in Australia, leveraging our domestic manufacturing capabilities and supporting the commercialisation of life-saving medical products,” added Dr Grant.