Australia invests $13mn in new medical technologies

By Catherine Sturman
Australia is looking to invest $13 million in three new medical technologies to support those with long-term mobility issues and chronic conditions, suc...

Australia is looking to invest $13 million in three new medical technologies to support those with long-term mobility issues and chronic conditions, such as back pain. Part of its $500 million Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) the investment will see $250 million of Commonwealth funding “matched by private investors,” according to the company website.

The co-investment venture capital programme will aim to support local health companies in Australia who are working to develop medical technologies and support economic growth. It is the main focus of President Malcolm Turnbull’s National Innovation and Science Agenda.

“This vital funding will support researchers when they need it most – for clinical testing, developing prototypes and other requirements before a high potential product or service can come on the market,” Minister for Health and Sport Greg Hunt has said.

The three new companies, Rex Bionics, Saluda Medical and CHARM Informatics will be responsible for developing new prototypes in order to support those with long-term mobility issues in order to enable patients to regain their independence and support long-term rehabilitation and recovery.

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Granted $5 million, Rex Bionics will focus on the development of hands-free devices to help those with physical disabilities to remain active, whilst Saluda Medical will work to create technologies for those suffering with long-term neuromodular conditions, such as spinal injuries, with over $3 million in funding. Additionally, CHARM Informatics has been granted $5 million to commercialise and push these technologies into the public space.

“The BTF is helping early stage biomedical companies to become internationally competitive, creating new markets for healthcare and producing better health outcomes,” commented Arthur Sinodinos, Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science.

“Saluda Medical with its novel chronic pain solution, involving spinal cord nerve stimulation via a surgically implanted micro device, and Rex Bionics, the manufacturer of a robotic chair enabling paraplegics to walk again, are both splendid Australian examples of how Industry 4.0 may help deliver extraordinary quality-of-life improvements,” commented Bill Ferris, Chair of Innovation and Science Australia.

“Both require advanced manufacturing, new technology and new skilled jobs,” he added.


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