26th July, 2016
MTP Connect chief executive officer Sue MacLeman says her Federal Government funded initiative aim is “to drive competitiveness and productivity of the sector”. Ms MacLeman told Biotech Daily that the launch of a 10-year plan at Melbourne’s Monash University tonight would explain the role of the Medical Technologies & Pharmaceuticals Industry Innovation Growth Centre, or MTP Connect. Ms MacLeman said that the Growth Centre was one of six created by the federal Government and provided with $248 million over four years and that of the $10 million a year available to MTP Connect $3 million was for operations and programs, while the rest would provide for matched-funding projects for specific sector programs. Ms MacLeman said that the Growth Centre’s aim was to remove roadblocks and bureaucratic barriers as well as duplication of programs and to build “a skills and knowledge base for commercialization”.
She said that rather than scientists inventing something and looking for a need, it would be better to find the need and look for a technology to respond to it.Ms MacLeman said that MTP Connect was “a strategic independent voice for the sector” and was also charged with promoting the sector to the world.“It all about getting the sector to work more effectively together and remove roadblocks,” Ms MacLeman said. She said that Australian needed to have the capability to manufacture its inventions from biologics through to devices, in turn creating a demand for a highly skilled workforce. Ms MacLeman said that the 10-year sector competitiveness plan asks “what are the key priorities and what can we do to achieve them?” “We can take specific action on each priority,” Ms MacLeman said. Ms MacLeman said that as MTP Connect chief executive officer she had been involved in meetings with Federal Government Ministers, chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel and other sector leaders.
Ms MacLeman said that the key-note speaker for the Melbourne meeting would be Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Studies director Prof Bill Charman. In a media release, MTP Connect said that Ms MacLeman and chairperson Dr Bronwyn Evans would take the draft 10-year sector competitiveness plan on an Australia-wide tour in July and August. MTP Connect said the draft plan identified seven growth priorities addressing specific elements of the value chain, including the need to identify and promote “knowledge priorities focused on current and future market needs”, create a highly productive commercialization environment from research to early clinical trials and proof-of-concept; transform the small and medium sized enterprize sub-sector to support the growth of smaller companies into larger, more stable and successful companies; support the development of digitally enabled devices and data analytics; strengthen Australia as an attractive clinical trial research destination; position Australia as the preferred partner for emerging Asian markets; and support advanced manufacturing.
MTP Connect was established under the Federal Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda “to promote and accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship, to identify and remove barriers to success and to deliver sectoral competitiveness, collaboration and productivity”. MTP Connect said the events would be a “networking opportunity” bringing businesses, industry and the science and research sector together to build links, unlock commercial opportunities and drive innovation”, with meetings in Melbourne on July 25, Adelaide July 26, Sydney August 3, Brisbane August 22, and events planned for Perth and Canberra.
The MTP Connect’s 10yr competitiveness plan can be accessed here
MTPConnect’s Draft SCP has identified seven ‘Sector Growth Priorities’, each addressing specific elements of the MTP value chain.
1. Identify and promote Knowledge Priorities focused on current and future market needs
2. Create a highly productive commercialisation environment from research to early clinical trials and proof-of-concept
3. Transform the SME sub-sector to support the growth of smaller companies into larger, more stable and successful companies
4. Support the development of digitally enabled MTP solutions: devices and data analytics
5. Strengthen Australia as an attractive clinical trial research destination
6. Position Australia as the preferred partner for emerging Asian markets
7. Support advanced manufacturing as a part of the broader Australian innovation ecosystem