Visionaries in the 3D printing of body parts and precision medicine are being urged to apply for $5 million in grants as part of the Australian Government’s investment in cutting-edge ideas and breakthrough discoveries, MTPConnect announced today.
 
Designed to move revolutionary technologies from proof-of-concept stage to commercialisation, the investments through the BioMedTech Horizons program are aimed at stimulating collaboration between the research, industry and technology sectors.
 
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the grants are expected to lead to improved health services and address national health priorities. 
 
“The BioMedTech Horizons program will foster the development of technologies that have the potential to transform and customise healthcare for all Australians, contributing to health system sustainability and economic growth, in line with MTPConnect’s priorities addressing key barriers and health challenges to take the Australian MTP sector to the next level,” Hunt said.
 
Australians are on the vanguard of high tech medical applications, with Brisbane surgeons performing a world-first transplant of a 3D-printed shinbone this year, and Melbourne company Anatomics producing a 3D-printed ribcage and sternum that was implanted into a 20-year-old cancer patient in the US in August.

[Read more: Australian made 3D-printed ribcage implanted into patient in the US / Queensland surgeons perform world-first 3D printed shinbone transplant]
 
The 2017-18 investments will support the revolutionary potential of 3D anatomical printing, as well as precision medicine, and help the technologies get to market and into patient care, according to Managing Director and CEO of MTPConnect Sue MacLeman.
 
“The BioMedTech Horizons program will provide funding essential to increase the number of biotechnology and medical technology innovations that can reach the proof-of-concept stage and obtain proof-of-concept status, overcoming the key barriers in significant areas of unmet clinical need,” MacLeman said.
 
“The program will also assist in increasing investment to progress through pre-clinical and clinical trials, therefore increasing the likelihood of commercialisation.”
 
The grants are being delivered as part of the Federal Government’s $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund, which aims to support medical research, build the economy and improve health system sustainability.  
 
Expressions of interest, which opened today, can be lodged until 10 December 2017.