Flinders University’s leadership in innovative medical technology has seen it win a major role to grow links between industry and researchers, under the Federal Government’s innovation agenda.

Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science, Christopher Pyne has announced Flinders will become one of two ‘nodes’ nationally of a new Medical Technologies and Pharmaceutical Growth Centre.

The MTPGC is part of the $225 million Industry Growth Centres Initiative. Growth Centres will work to unlock commercial opportunities and drive innovation by building links between businesses and industry organisations and the science and research sector.

The Growth Centre node at Flinders University will be co-located with the Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) and Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) based at Flinders’ Tonsley campus, where it will work side-by-side with industry partners and other research groups. The Centre will be headquartered at The University of Sydney.

Professor Karen Reynolds, Director of the Medical Device Research Institute (MDRI) at Flinders University, said the announcement recognised Flinders’ strong standing and reputation in the medical technology space.

“We look forward to working with the Growth Centre to expand collaborative networks and focus research and development in areas of priority across Australia,” she said.

Flinders University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Colin Stirling, said the news was another ringing endorsement of Flinders’ leading role as a key innovator and driver of South Australia’s economic transformation.

“The news that Flinders’ world class medical devices researchers based at our innovation precinct at Tonsley have been chosen to help lead this national medical technologies and pharmaceuticals growth centre reinforces the reputation for excellence enjoyed by Professor Reynolds and her team,” he said.

“Through their work at the MDRI and MDPP, they have shown time and again that they have an outstanding ability to develop and support some of the best medical technology in the world from concept through to market.

“This announcement recognizes that ability and demonstrates that the Australian Government considers Professor Reynolds and her team to be among the finest medical technology researchers in Australia.”

The Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre will focus on how to encourage collaboration and the commercialisation of new products, how to identify opportunities to reduce regulatory burden, and how to improve capabilities to enable engagement with international markets and global supply chains.

Dr Bronwyn Evans, Chair of the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre, said a significant goal of the Industry Growth Centres will be to forge better links between industry and Australia’s world class researchers to maximise outcomes and return on investment.

“Australia is already successfully participating in this sector’s global value chains and this will position Australia even more strongly,” she said.

“Enabling digital technologies such as data analytics and cloud based application infrastructure will further enhance this capability.”

The Industry Growth Centre is a key component of the Australian Government’s Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda.

Minister Pyne said the Centre, which will be headquartered at the University of Sydney and have another node at Monash University in Melbourne will create a “national footprint … within key universities across Australia”.

It comes hot on the heels of another major announcement by the Australian Government about the establishment of a new $250 million Biomedical Translation Fund to invest in promising biomedical discoveries and assist in their commercialisation.