What is the BioMedTech Horizons Program?
The BioMedTech Horizons program is a Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) initiative to support innovative collaborative health technologies, drive discoveries towards proof-of-concept and commercialisation that address key health challenges as well as maximise entrepreneurship and idea potential.
The BioMedTech Horizons program is drawn from the MRFF and administered by MTPConnect.
The BioMedTech Horizons program is intended to address gaps in early biomedical and medical technology product development and increase the number of viable, new health technologies reaching proof-of-concept stages or beyond and that become attractive for private capital investment and commercialisation by:
- Expediting, through a competitive selection process, the identification of, investment in, and delivery of promising disruptive biomedical and medical technology innovation initiatives, for the benefit of the health and wellbeing of Australians.
- Supporting industry access to expertise and infrastructure that will assist in accelerating rapid pre-clinical work and evaluation.
The intended outcomes of the BioMedTech Horizons program are to:
- Develop new biomedical and medical innovation and technology in Australia to benefit Australians.
- Grow the Australian medical technology sector so that Australia’s world-class research is developed into medical technologies.
- Boost employment and grow business in the medical technology sector.
The specific intention of BioMedTech Horizons 4 is to support the development of the Australian medical device sector by supporting critical research and to create opportunities to locally manufacture precommercial prototypes of Australian based medical devices that are entering human clinical trials.
Key Focus Areas
Beginning on 24 March 2021, MTPConnect will open a call for Expressions of Interest (EOI) to identify and select initiatives that meet all the following objectives:
- Research to achieve the goal of using the device in the intended environment in the project period.
- Sees the production of prototypes in Australia of a regulated medical device at a minimum classification of Class IIa as per TGA guidelines in any therapeutic area.
For the purposes of this funding opportunity a medical device is one that is used for humans and is intended to diagnose, prevent, monitor, treat or alleviate a disease or injury, or modify or monitor anatomy or physiological functions of the body, and that does not achieve its principal intended action in or on the human body by pharmacological, immunological or metabolic means, but that may be assisted in its function by such means.
Four funding opportunities of $800,000 each (excluding GST) will be available to help eligible organisations advance their medical device technology toward commercialisation by supporting Australian-based pre-commercial prototype development and testing.
Lead applicants are required to provide a minimum of 1:1 matched cash co-contribution. BioMedTech Horizons funding will be used to support research, development and project costs in line with the eligible expenditures indicated in these Guidelines.
A strong proposal will:
- Demonstrate the potential to improve the health and wellbeing of Australians.
- Demonstrate how BioMedTech Horizons funds will accelerate the production and commercialisation of a medical device technology in Australia within a 12-month period.
- Demonstrate a commitment to Australian manufacturing of pre-commercial prototypes.
- Demonstrate the greatest potential to advance the medical technologies sector in Australia and economic and workforce development.
- Form partnerships or stimulate collaboration across disciplines and between the research, industry and technology sectors to maximise entrepreneurship.
Commonwealth Funding provided through the BioMedTech Horizons program can only be spent on eligible expenditures incurred on eligible activities during the project period and be in accordance with the Commonwealth Terms & Conditions for Standard Funding Agreement (March 2015);
To be eligible for consideration, applications must satisfy all the requirements set out in this Guidelines document. An application may be ineligible and excluded from further consideration if it contravenes an eligibility rule or other requirement set out in this Guidelines document or does not fulfill each of the Key Focus Areas requirements (above).
Lead Applicant Eligibility
For a proposal to be eligible the following requirements for the lead applicant must be met:
- The lead applicant must be an:
- Australian based business registered before 1 January 2021
- be incorporated in Australia
o have an ABN
o have fewer than 200 staff
o have group sales of less than $50M in the last fiscal year
o the Lead Applicant cannot be a University or Medical Research Institute.
- The lead applicant will be a medical device company developing a device and must control or have the legal right to access and use the patent(s), trademarks or other IP that will be necessary to undertake the proposed activities and to translate, implement or commercialise their product(s)/solution(s).
- Meet the requirements demonstrating cash co-contribution outlined in Matched Funding Eligibility
- Meet any applicable application deadlines, timing, formatting, system or other similar administrative requirements imposed by MTPConnect.
It is understood that the lead applicant may not be the group manufacturing the device prototypes. To accommodate this scenario, partnerships and collaborations with Australian medical device manufacturers are allowed. A partner is not a mandatory requirement and is not considered an advantage or a disadvantage.
If a manufacturing partner is named that partner must satisfy the following eligibility criteria. The partner must:
- be an Australian business registered before 1 January 2021
- be incorporated in Australia
- have an ABN
- establish and operate the manufacturing facility in Australia
- be ISO14385 accredited or achieve accreditation within the project activity period.
Other partner organisations can include, but are not limited to:
- medical research institutes
- clinical organisations or health care providers
- health systems
- consumer groups
- private research entities
- commercial entities
- not-for-profit organisations
- and/or other end-users.
Matched Funding Eligibility
Matched funding is required in BioMedTech Horizons 4 to demonstrate current and ongoing commitment by the business to the proposed project and its outcomes.
Matched funding must be provided as a cash co-contribution, be at least equivalent to the amount requested from the BMTH4 program and fulfil the requirements set out below. Additional cash or inkind contributions will be considered favourably. Cash contributions from non-government sources are considered most favourably.
Evidence of the at least 1:1 matched funding cash co-contribution must be provided at the EOI stage. Evidence will include letter(s) of support that provides assurance that matched funding is available. Letter(s) of support must outline what is being contributed (cash and in-kind), be on the organisation’s letterhead and be signed by an authorised individual.
Matched funding can be derived from multiple sources. Matched funding eligibility:
- Matched funding cannot be from any other Australian Government program.
- All non-Australian Government sources of matching cash are acceptable.
- Grants or capital from international sources are acceptable.
- Universities, Medical Research Institutes (MRIs) and foundations may contribute matching funding from non-Australian Government sources of revenue.
Where matched funding is provided through a grant from another government, foundation or agency, MTPConnect will seek evidence that activities do not overlap.
Applicants are required to disclose other sources of State/Territory or Australian Government funding that has been received that have supported the development of the proposed project to date.
Applications close 19 April 2021.
Round 3 Recipients
- Anatomics Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing digitally enabled skullcaps to monitor brain swelling in craniectomy patients to optimise timing of skull reconstruction surgery.
- Anisop Holdings Pty Ltd, New South Wales, is developing a nano-optimised surface to prevent orthopaedic and dental implant infections.
- Apollo Medical Imaging Technology Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing an Artificial Intelligence-based clinical decision support software for guided acute stroke therapy.
- Artrya Pty Ltd, Western Australia, is developing Artificial Intelligence methods for evaluating cardiac CT angiography and high-risk imaging biomarkers.
- Atmo Biosciences Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing an application of Atmo ingestible gas sensing capsule to diagnose Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO).
- Bionic Vision Technologies Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing an implantable vision system and algorithm in their Bionic Eye Generation 3 device to restore functional vision for blind patients.
- Carbon Cybernetics, Victoria, is developing a high-resolution cortical recording of the brain for the prediction and prevention of epileptic seizures.
- Ear Science Institute Australia, Western Australia, is advancing the commercialisation of its ClearDrum® device, which is an acoustically-optimised silk fibroin implant for the treatment of chronic middle ear disease.
- Ferronova Pty Ltd, South Australia, is working to improve colorectal cancer outcomes with hybrid cancer tracers.
- Hemideina, Victoria, is developing a miniature, low-energy wireless power and data transmission system for implantable medical devices.
- Inventia Life Science Pty Ltd, New South Wales, is developing a 3D bioprinting system for intraoperative skin regeneration.
- Merunova Pty Ltd, New South Wales, is developing an augmented digital re-construction and re-visualisation of spine MRI for the personalised diagnosis of back pain.
- Miniprobes Pty Ltd, South Australia, is developing a smart brain biopsy needle for faster, safer neurosurgery.
- Neuromersiv Pty Ltd, New South Wales, is advancing the commercialisation of its hand and arm wearable device for use with the Neuromersiv virtual reality rehabilitation system.
- Northern Research Pty Ltd, New South Wales, is advancing the commercialisation of its PulseVAD pulsatile rotary blood pump that is designed to treat patients suffering from a form of Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) for which, at present, there is no effective treatment.
- OncoRes Medical Pty Ltd, Western Australia, is developing compact wireless technology for improvement in the accuracy during breast conserving surgery.
- Optiscan Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing its non-invasive confocal endomicroscopy system to enhance oral cancer screening and surgical margin assessment.
- Seer, Victoria, is developing personalised epilepsy treatment via mobile and wearable monitoring.
- Synchron Australia Pty Ltd, Victoria, is advancing the commercialisation of its Stentrode; a minimally-invasive brain-computer interface being designed to enable people with paralysis to restore functional independence by engaging in activities of daily living such as email communication, text messaging and online shopping, by controlling apps and external devices through thought alone, and without requiring open brain surgery.
- VenstraMedical Pty Ltd, New South Wales, is enhancing the development of a transcatheter blood pump system for Cardiogenic Shock and Hemodynamically Compromised patients.
- Zip Diagnostics, Victoria, is establishing domestic capabilities for combined R&D and manufacture of point-of-care diagnostics.
Round 2 Recipients
- Cyban Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing a novel brain pulse oximeter to monitor brain oxygen levels following traumatic brain injury
- Kunovus Technologies Pty Ltd, New South Wales, is developing an elastomeric motion-preserving implant to treat lumbar spine osteoarthritis as an alternative to fusion
- Macuject Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing artificial intelligence-based clinical decision support software for intravitreal management of age-related macular degeneration
- Advanced Genetic Diagnostics Pty Ltd, Western Australia, is developing genetic tests to identify people at high risk of heart disease
- IntelliDesign Pty Ltd, Queensland, is developing portable bedside low field magnetic resonance imaging
- PolyActiva Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing sustained release ocular implants for delivery of steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications to the eye for the prevention and treatment of macular oedema
- IDE Group, New South Wales, is developing a control sleeve for intravitreal injection system
- WearOptimo, Queensland, is advancing cardiac microwearables for rapid, minimally-invasive personalised cardiovascular medicine
- Enlighten Imaging Pty Ltd, Victoria, is developing a novel hyperspectral retinal imaging platform for next generation artificial intelligence diagnostics.