Government announces $22.3m in funding for early stage research


MTPConnect will receive more than $22 million in funding through the Government’s Medical Research Future Fund to deliver the Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program.

The BTB program will provide funding for important early stage research that will lead to new interventions, cures and treatments of major diseases like arthritis, asthma, back pain, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes and mental health conditions.

It will see MTPConnect will partner with BioCurate (University of Melbourne and Monash University), UniQuest (University of Queensland), and the Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP, led by Flinders University), all pre-eminent organisations in the commercialisation and translation of health and medical research in Australia.

MTPConnect CEO, Dr Dan Grant, said under the initiative, projects for new therapies, technologies and medical devices will be eligible for up to $1 million over a period of up to three years to support translation of Australian medical research through to the proof of concept stage.

“As the national growth centre for the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals sector, MTPConnect is uniquely positioned to partner with industry and deliver the Biomedical Translation Bridge program,” he said.

“MTPConnect is already responsible for two schemes for the Federal Government which provide funding to 48 projects across the country, so to be awarded this new and exciting health program is welcome recognition of our achievements.

“The BTB program has a strong commercial imperative, driving development of research initiatives to improve the health of Australians that also generate commercial returns to help create the high paying jobs of the future.”

BioCurate CEO, Dr Glenn Begley, said their focus is to work closely with researchers to address the barriers that limit the translation and commercialisation of their early stage research.

“The BioCurate team brings extensive ‘hands on’ international industry experience and we look forward to sharing our scientific and commercial expertise as part of the program,” Mr Begley added.

According to the announcement made by Industry, Science and Technology Minister Karen Andrews and Minister for Health Greg Hunt, applications for the $22.3 million BTB program will open later this year, accompanied by workshops in each capital city and in major regional centres such as Townsville, Newcastle, Wollongong and Geelong to build awareness and ensure a high number of quality applications are received.

“These programs have been making headway in helping to accelerate the growth of the sector by forging stronger connections between research and industry,” Minister Andrews said.

“Boosting opportunities to translate and commercialise our scientific discoveries means more medical breakthroughs to help everyday Australians, as well as stimulating our economy and creating jobs.”

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