In August, three members of the Centre went to The Actuator’s “Medtech’s got Talent Boot Camp”.
The Actuator is a not-for-profit MedTech commercialisation initiative providing a number of commercialisation programs designed to streamline and accelerate the translation pathway of new medical technologies. The MedTech’s Got Talent program is focused on the pre-seed stages of the commercialisation trajectory.
The boot camp covered a general overview of the different constituents of a MedTech commercialisation journey. The workshop consisted of a range of sessions including a Q&A session where experts from the field shared their views and experiences in commercialising a medical technology. Additionally, delegates got an insight into IP, market positioning, finance and the art of pitching your idea.
Dr Ruirui Qiao from Monash was one of the 3 CBNS members that participated in the boot camp. The topic of the boot camp was closely aligned to her research and therefore Ruirui benefitted a lot from the workshop. “In Australia, the translation of technology is crucial. So as being a scientist, I will pay more attention to set up collaborations with industry rather than just focus on the basic research.”, she states.
“I learned that Australia has a burgeoning Med-Tech industry and that Med-Tech is different than Biotech and pharma-tech. So for my career I’ know have a better idea on how to approach the differences and how to categorise the three.”, Dr JJ Richardson from the University of Melbourne describes. He will now start focussing on spin-off opportunities coming from his research projects. “I would tell my fellow researchers to think critically about whether their technology solves an actual problem, rather than just being cool. And have they talked to the end-user of their technology and did they say it sounds great? If not, what could be done to make it more user-friendly.”
Ruirui agrees “the end-users’ opinion on the product is very important. I also have similar experience since my research is based on the clinical applications. Discussions and conversations with the doctors will help to sort out the scientific question as well as meet the needs of the market.” One of the lessons learned on this day was to establish more networks to have a better vision to increase the chance for commercialisation. Ruirui learned that a successful translation is not solely about the product itself. “It is more about how you manage the project as the whole path includes other factors like IP issues, funding issue etc. And it is impossible to manage all things by yourself, finding a royal partner now if you want to make it come true.”
For PhD student Ava Faridi (Monash) it was very interesting to see how Australia is investing on commercialising, IP and on bringing ideas to reality in Med-Tech. Until now, she was not aware of this and to her one of the most important messages was “to break the walls and limitations. PhD is not just about working in a lab, producing results and submitting a thesis. Think out of the box and there will be many experts and investors to support you.”
For Ava, the workshop was a starting point for me to see whether she can apply her projects and ideas to reality and also to try adjusting her projects into a more efficient direction. “I believe there is a gap between research, market and industry which needs to be broken and this could be a start for me.”, she says.