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MDPP Director Prof Karen Reynolds with engineering staff

The Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP), founded by Flinders University, has been named a partner in the Australian Government’s $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development with Industry (REDI) initiative, through the Medical Research Future Fund.

To deliver the program, MTPConnect is partnering with research, training and industry organisations to deploy an integrated, three-pillar plan driving skills development and workforce training that brings together researchers, clinicians, industry and the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Announced yesterday (5 February 2020) by Minister for Health Greg Hunt MP, the $32 million investment will boost Australia’s success in turning innovative health and medical research ideas into commercial reality.

MDPP Director Professor Karen Reynolds has welcomed the opportunity.

“We are excited to expand our relationship with MTPConnect through the announcement of the REDI program and to continue to support the medtech sector across Australia,” she said.

Read more about the REDI announcement on the MTPConnect website.


MDPP VIC 1st birthday

This month, the MDPP Victoria team celebrated their first birthday, and we want to thank all of our supporters and collaborators who have helped make the first year such a success. 

During this first year they have hit the ground running and have:

  • Established an expert team
  • Leveraged the expertise of our Victorian Steering Committee of industry leaders from the sector
  • Consulted on over 80 ideas for new medical technologies
  • Held 25 workshops, bringing together industry and research experts to provide input on these innovations
  • Approved funding for nine projects

We could not have done any of this without the valued support of many. 

First we’d like to thank LaunchVic, Victoria’s startup agency, for their support to deliver the Program in Victoria.

Our Victorian partners who have contributed expertise, facilities and guidance: Swinburne University, St. Vincent's Hospital, University of Melbourne, RMIT University, Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication, Monash University, La Trobe University, Baker Institute, CSIRO, Bionics Institute and BioMedVic.

Our National MDPP Sponsors: Design + Industry, FB Rice, Madderns, Motherson Innovations and Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick for their support to help build the med-tech industry in Australia.

And to the many, many organisations and individuals who have provided their time and expertise during workshops and client consultations.

We look forward to making an even greater impact during 2020, supporting more ideas for medical or assistive devices. So if you have an idea for a new medical technology and need R&D assistance, connect with us today. Or if you know of someone who may benefit from MDPP assistance, please refer them to our website:

Again, thank you to everyone who has supported us in our vision for Australia to lead the world in med-tech innovation and drive solutions to advance healthcare globally.



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12 December 2019

Acting Health Minister Alan Tudge announced $5.9 million will be provided to fund 8 early stage projects through round 1 of the MRFF’s Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) Program.

Dr Dan Grant, Managing Director and CEO of MTPConnect, said the successful projects will cover new medical technologies and novel therapies to address unmet clinical needs.

“We believe these research projects could eventually play a vital role in tackling a number of major challenges for our health sector and contribute towards delivering improved health outcomes for Australians of all ages,” said Dr Grant.

The Biomedical Translation Bridge (BTB) program aims to help Australia move more cutting-edge ideas and breakthrough discoveries swiftly towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation, while stimulating collaboration between the research, industry and technology sectors to maximise entrepreneurship and idea potential.

Medical Connect is one of the first projects to come through the Victorian-MDPP, thanks to support from LaunchVic. Working with Swinburne University’s Centre for Design Innovation the project is to design and test a new aircraft seating design that could make transporting patients by air accessible and affordable.


Medical Connect with team from Swinburne

[Image courtesy of Swinburne: The Swinburne and Medical Connect team (L to R): Matthew Blythman, Andrew Heath, Linda Heath, Dr Boris Eisenbart, Matt Richardson, Dr Benedikt Lux] 

Medical Connect co-founder, Mr Andrew Heath says the assistance of the MDPP, combined with the input of Swinburne’s expert researchers, provided the best chance to develop and commercialise the project. 

“What we liked most about the MDPP opportunity was partnering with Swinburne and researchers from its Centre for Design Innovation who have significant industry experience and technical knowledge. 

“They could help us to test assumptions and provide technical knowledge to convert our idea into a physical prototype that we can take to industry and the market.” 

Click here to read the full story by the Swinburne media team.


MDPP Victoria supported by

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South Australian start-up company Prohab have been awarded Australia’s coveted Good Design Award for design excellence in the medical and scientific category, announced last week (11 July).

Designed in collaboration with Flinders University’s Associate Professor in Product Design, Sandy Walker, the Prohab Connected Healthcare Device accurately measures the force-generating capability of an individual’s muscle, in order to guide and personalise prescription of exercise and rehabilitation programs.

Prohab team Good Design Award

[Pictured: Associate Professor Sandy Walker, centre, with Prohab's Alex Vanderzon, left, and CEO Lyndon Huf at the awards]

Prohab CEO Mr Lyndon Huf says the device empowers the patient to be more engaged and in control of their recovery by using real time data to allow them to monitor their rehabilitation.

“The Prohab device motivates patients recovering from injury, by seamlessly gathering exercise data and keeping track of real-time progress, assisting medical professionals to make better treatment recommendations” says Mr Huf.

“The device communicates rehabilitation data in real-time addressing both the quantity of muscle intensity and volume as well as the quality of the exercises such as the control of muscle contraction”.

The winners of Australia's peak industry design awards – the highest honour for design and innovation in the country were announced at The Star on 11 July at the 61st annual Good Design Awards Ceremony.

On receiving the Good Design Award, Mr Huf says, “We are thrilled, this International recognition greatly validates our product and we are excited this timely award aligns with our next phase of investment”.

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia says the judging panel praised the PROHAB Connected Healthcare Device commenting, “The design was extremely well resolved. Some of the detail of the physical product were excellent and inspirational in their execution (hinge, switch detention). A clever example of good design applied to an identified user need”.

Flinders University Associate Professor Sandy Walker says from their early research, they identified that “ease of clipping and unclipping” to equipment, was a key user requirement.

“Using ‘Design Think’ methods, I invented an all-in-one, strong but lightweight, titanium chassis, which combined the strain gauge, power switch and two clipping carabiners, into a single integrated component, which could then quickly and easily attached to resistance-bands and cable-based gym equipment’ said Associate Professor Walker.

“I was truly inspired by Prohab’s vision for the development of a novel rehabilitation device and have been thrilled to work on this project”, said Associate Professor Walker.

Professor Karen Reynolds, Flinders University’s Dean (Research), College of Science and Engineering and Director of the Medical Device Research Institute at Tonsley, congratulated Prohab and Associate Professor Walker on their successful collaboration.

“Flinders University is a leader in creative discovery and practical solutions, and this award is resounding acknowledgement of Associate Professors Walker’s contributions towards the development of Prohab’s device” said Professor Reynolds.

This is also a great win for South Australia.

Prohab illo website

For Mr Huf, it was important to keep as much of the development in South Australia as possible.

“All the research, design, clinical trials and manufacturing for this product have remained in South Australia which is great for the sector” said Mr Huf.

Prohab (initially known as Maction) was born through Flinders University’s New Venture Institute’s Venture Dorm Program. Mr Huf then turned to the Medical Device Partnering Program to develop his first prototype of the device and was introduced to Associate Professor Walker.

Prohab have since been working to refine and test the product and recently started working with the Innovative Manufacturing Accelerator 4.0 to automate and scale manufacturing.  

In 2018, Prohab were recognised with a Design Institute of Australia Premier’s Award and Gold Product award for their device, presented by the Hon. David Pisoni, South Australian Minister for Industry and Skills.

This newly announced Good Design Award has Prohab rubbing shoulders with global innovators such as Dyson, HP, Samsung, BMW and Tesla.

Based at the Tonsley Precinct, they are now working with local South Australian company to manufacture the device and are looking at investment opportunities to execute the next stages of their business.

If you are interested in learning more, visit

You can view a video about the Prohab’s Connected Healthcare Device here -


The Medical Device Partnering Program (MDPP) celebrated a significant milestone last week (March 28), formally launching its operations in Victoria.

Officially launched by the Hon. Martin Pakula, Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade, this event also signified the beginning of MDPP's national expansion.

The theme of the event was partnership, with the resounding message, Many Minds Make Great Work.

Minister Kate Cornick LaunchVic and MDPP

[L-R: Dr Kate Cornick (CEO LaunchVic), Professor Karen Reynolds (MDPP Director), The Hon. Martin Pakula (Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Trade Victoria), and Professor Sally McArthur (MDPP Regional Director Victoria]

MDPP Director and MC, Professor Karen Reynolds opened the event by thanking the many partners who have made national expansion possible.

Dr Kate Cornick, CEO of LaunchVic, the state government agency charged with growing the Victorian startup ecosystem, spoke about the support that they have invested to deliver the program In Victoria. 

In his speech, Minister Pakula said that the MDPP is designed to add significant value to a rapidly growing medtech sector, strongly connecting university capabilities with health entrepreneurs.

"All of the institutions and organisations are absolute leaders in their field and having them all come together to support and promote medtech start-ups really promises a very exciting future for the industry" said Minister Pakula.

The Victorian MDPP partnership is led by Swinburne University of Technology and brings together CSIRO, The University of Melbourne, Monash University, RMIT University, Melbourne Centre for Nanofabrication (part of the Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF), and BioMedical Research Victoria, as well as three new partners who were announced on the night; St. Vincent's Hospital, Baker Institute, and La Trobe University.

It leverages the proven model and processes developed and implemented by Flinders University over 10 years, with support from the South Australian Government.

Regional Director MDPP Victoria, Professor Sally McArthur shared her excitement to lead the charge In Victoria.

"Ideas come from anywhere. But really importantly, solutions come from everywhere as well. We need to be co-creating those solutions because we’re not patients, we’re people, and we’re after healthcare not sickcare, so we need to be able to create things that are both useful and usable, and that’s really at the heart of the Medical Device Partnering Program" said Professor McArthur.

"Its about identifying the really good ideas early on and bringing a community around them to make them succeed" said Professor McArthur.

Professor Reynolds congratulated Victoria for being the first State (beyond South Australia) to embrace the MDPP, to bring together partners and the network to make it thrive.

“We are passionate about supporting the development of the medical device industry and working with a wide range of stakeholders who can achieve that” says Professor Reynolds.

"Victoria already has excellent research expertise and an entrepreneurial clinical community. The MDPP provides a platform to untap ideas, facilitate collaboration to fast track medtech development in Australia", says Professor Reynolds.

The national expansion of the MDPP has been supported by MTPConnect and the Growth Centres Initiative.

"This is just the beginning. We are working hard to realise expansion Into Queensland, New South Wales and Western Australia In the near future".

If you have an idea for a medical device or assistive technology and need research and development assistance, contact us today.

MDPP team at launch event


Vial hugger in action cropped

Congratulations to South Australian company AusHealth Research on their recent commercial success with their Vial Hugger product.

AusHealth (previously Medvet Science) approached the MDPP in late 2017 with their product, a medical accessory invented by South Australian ophthalmologist Weng-Onn Chan at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. The Vial Hugger device conveniently and securely holds vials into place, to reduce the risk of needle stick injury.

Whilst the product did not meet the MDPP criteria for a full project, the MDPP were able to assist the company with introductions to local manufacturers and provide feedback on their product.

Mr Greg Johansen, MD & CEO at AusHealth, said these introductions were extremely valuable.

“We took on board the feedback that the MDPP provided when commercialising this product and have now received two initial orders from Bayer and Inservio, with more orders expected in the near future” said Mr Johansen.

“The MDPP were able to connect us to the right expertise, which allowed us to get off to the best start”.

If you would like to learn more about the Vial Hugger, visit the AusHealth website.

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