17 September 2019
When the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute at Monash University needed help to boost industry awareness of its work and interact with the growing regenerative medicine sector, the BioMelbourne Network helped with contacts and hosted a meeting to spark discussion. Three years on the situation has improved, with ARMI working to further improve it.
When he wanted to boost awareness of the Australian regenerative medicine industry and interact with this growing sector, Silvio Tiziani, Chief Operating Officer of the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute (ARMI) at Monash University knew exactly who to contact for help. For most of its 10 short years of existence, ARMI has been a BioMelbourne Network member so Silvio approached the network to discuss the matter at hand.
When asked for advice on establishing a small consortium of Victorian industry people keen to help develop this growing sector, BioMelbourne Network quickly pinpointed several individuals from the network’s member base for Silvio to engage. Key people from large and not-so-large member organisations working in the regenerative medicine sector were only too keen to help.
Recognising and using the ‘rising tide lifts all boats’ principle, the first Regenerative Medicine Industry Interface (RMI2) Committee Meeting was held on 27 July 2016. BioMelbourne Network hosted the engagement to spark dialogue on how to work together in the interests of this growing sector in Victoria.
“The approach we took was one of trying to better understand the impediments to industry working with the academic sector and vice versa,” Silvio says. “What BioMelbourne Network and I were able to do was turn the question around so that it becomes one of ‘What does industry need from the academic sector to help support its business objectives?’”
It was no surprise that there were many impediments, but most were dependent on the state of development of individual companies. Nor was it surprising that these impediments were mainly due to misunderstandings between the parties. For instance, sometimes companies cannot easily access much-needed facilities in the academic sector because they don’t know how to do so.
Three years later, there is a better level of understanding but more work to do. “Having BioMelbourne Network to call on has allowed us to initiate a strong dialogue with industry and I think value is being generated for all parties involved,” Silvio says. “Certainly, this initiative has helped us at ARMI to establish the CCRM Australia project that also includes a national industry consortium. But that is another good news story!”