Community Future of MedTech

NEW RESEARCH HUB TO TRANSFORM AUSTRALIA’S MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SECTOR

Researchers from The University of Queensland, industry partners, government and academia recently gathered to officially launch the Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices (AMMD Hub Research Hub) at Cook Medical Australia.

Above: ARC CEO, Prof. Sue Thomas (second from right) officially launches the ARC Research Hub for the Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices (AMMD Research Hub) with Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Mr Michael Grogan, Member for Sunnybank Mr Peter Russo MP, AMMD Research Hub Director Prof. Matthew Dargusch, Cook Medical Australia General Manager Dr. Samih Nabulsi at, Director – APAC and VP Cook Inc. Mr. Barry Thomas and UQ Vice-Chancellor and President Prof. Peter Høj at Cook Medical Australia in Brisbane today.

While a key aim of the research hub is the transformation of Australia’s medical technology sector by developing competitive technologies for the rapid production of medical devices, it is patients who are set to benefit most from the industry-research partnership.

One of the key goals for the AMMD Research Hub is to improve health outcomes for patients in Australia, and around the globe, by improving the time it takes to design, manufacture and supply customised medical devices such as endovascular stent grafts for patients with aortic aneurysm—a condition that currently has post-rupture survival rates of only 10 to 20 per cent.

Cook Medical Australia General Manager Dr Samih Nabulsi said the AMMD Research Hub would deliver outcomes for patients by fostering growth in the medical technology sector in Australia.

“Our primary goal is to improve patient health outcomes, but we are also growing workforce capability in the medical device industry and increasing the translation of new technology,” Dr Nabulsi said.

“Research and industry partnerships like the AMMD Research Hub are vital to increasing and accelerating the translation of new technology in the medical device industry.”

From a patient and treating doctor perspective, the AMMD Research Hub’s approach to research and innovation offers the promise of improvements to patient care and clinical outcomes by reducing the complexity associated with manufacturing medical devices.

From a manufacturing perspective, the AMMD Research Hub represents a critical mass that can take advantage of the synergies and strengths of the individual participants and deliver productivity benefits that would not be independently realisable.

AMMD Research Hub Director and University of Queensland Professor Matthew Dargusch said that effective collaboration between diverse industry and university partners is the key to addressing challenges in the advanced manufacturing of medical devices.

“It is the knowledge transfer that comes from taking a collaborative, cross-disciplinary and cross-sectoral approach to medical technology that will lead to making game-changing innovations in the sector,” said Professor Dargusch.

With researchers based at Cook Medical Australia, the AMMD Research Hub has already begun work in the areas of lean manufacturing to improve the production times, adaptive automation systems, metallic biomaterials and collaborative robotics.

Director Asia-Pacific and Vice President of Cook Incorporated, Barry Thomas said the AMMD Research Hub is an important example of the advanced manufacturing sector working together with researchers and universities.

“The AMMD Research Hub will make a significant contribution to advancing the medical device industry in Australia through efficiency of processes, materials and technologies, and realise further export opportunities for IP derived from manufacturing process improvements.”

“The collaboration is key for sustaining innovation and manufacturing excellence and will contribute positively to the economy, create jobs, and strengthen the advanced manufacturing sector,” Mr Thomas said.

The AMMD Research Hub brings together researchers from the University of Queensland, the University of the Sunshine Coast, the University of Sydney, RMIT, with industry partners including Cook Medical Australia Pty Ltd., Robert Bosch (Australia) Pty Ltd.; Heat Treatment (Qld) Pty Ltd. and QMI Solutions Ltd.

In 2016, the AMMD Research Hub was awarded $2.8 million in ARC funding for five years. This investment was matched by industry partners, with a total value of more than $10 million of cash and in-kind funding.

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