What is the BioMedTech Horizons Program?

Delivered by MTPConnect, the Australian Government’s $45 million BioMedTech Horizons program is an 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.

 

Background

The funding for the BioMedTech Horizons Program is drawn from the Fund and MTP-IIGC LTD, trading as MTPConnect, is delivering the program. The BMTH 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; and
  • Supporting industry access to expertise and infrastructure that will assist in accelerating rapid pre-clinical work and evaluation.

MTPConnect will deliver the BioMedTech Horizons Program program by:

  • Identifying and selecting promising biological and medical technology innovation initiatives; and
  • Partnering with other entities to deliver the initiatives, including supporting the selected initiatives through their formative stages in accordance with activity workplans approved by an oversight committee made up of representatives of the Department of Health, MTPConnect, AusBiotech and Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA).

 

Funding

Expressions of interest are now open for the third tranche of funding, with grants of up to $1 million available for medical device projects targeting innovative solutions to address unmet clinical needs in three key focus areas:

  • Digitally enabled medical devices in mobile health, health information technology, wearable devices, telehealth and telemedicine, and digitally enabled personalised medicine
  • Digitally enabled implantable medical devices addressing unmet needs in any therapeutic area
  • General medical devices in the areas of regenerative medicine, women’s health, cardiovascular, orthopaedics, neuroscience, general surgery and oncology

 

Eligibility

The BioMedTech Horizons Program (BMTH) 3.0 program aims to support projects that:

  • Develop new biomedical innovations and technologies in Australia to benefit Australians;
  • Grow our biomedtech sector by ensuring that Australia’s world-class research is translated into real treatments, drugs and devices; and
  • Boost employment and grow businesses in Australia’s biomedtech sector.

To be eligible for consideration, applications must satisfy all the requirements set out in the Guidelines document.

For a proposal to be deemed eligible for BMTH3.0 funding, it must:

  1. Identify novel biomedical and biotechnology initiatives that are likely to impact healthcare outcomes while targeting one of the Focus / Therapeutic Areas listed above in the Guidelines. Clinical needs will be taken into consideration during the Stage 2 review of applications to ensure that clinical relevance is maintained;
  2. Come from an Australia based SME (firms which employ up to 200 staff and have an ABN number). Eligible companies must be at a stage of development equivalent to Level 3 or beyond on the Technology Readiness Level Scale and will have preliminary data demonstrating Technical Proof of Concept. Companies must hold rights to the patent(s) or other IP related to the technology being developed;
  3. Stimulate collaboration across disciplines and between the research, industry, and technology sectors to maximise entrepreneurship. Applicants are encouraged to form strategic partnerships. Applicant’s research collaborator must be an Australian research organisation/institute/university;
  4. Support research or related activities which are to be undertaken in Australia unless otherwise approved by MTPConnect. Activities that are critical to the success of the project that cannot be undertaken in Australia will be considered for eligibility on a case by case basis;
  5. Have a developmental plan demonstrating how the BMTH funds would help accelerate development and/or commercialisation of the technology within a two-year period. This may include an ability to achieve or exceed commercial Proof of Concept (i.e. establishing commercial viability of a new product, process etc.) within a two-year period, positioning the program for future investment by the Biomedical Translation Fund (BTF) or other funding;
  6. Meet any applicable timing, formatting, system or other similar administrative requirements imposed by MTPConnect; and
  7. Advise that the proposed funding recipient will adhere to the terms and conditions of funding set out in a partnership agreement as determined by MTPConnect.
  8. EOI applications must be received on or before the closing date. Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted.
  9. An application may be considered ineligible and excluded from further consideration if it:
    1. Does not meet the objectives of the program;
    2. Fails to address one of the identified Focus / Therapeutic Areas;
    3. Contravenes an eligibility rule or other requirement as set out in the Guidelines document.

Commonwealth Funding provided through the BMTH program can only be spent on eligible expenditures incurred on eligible activities during the term of the partnership agreement and in accordance with the Commonwealth Terms & Conditions for Standard Funding Agreement (March 2015);

Examples of the eligible expenditures include, but are not limited to:

  • Prototype development and/or validation;
  • In-vivo proof-of-concept studies in relevant disease models for therapeutic opportunities;
  • Software coding and documentation to enable field trials or alpha/beta testing;
  • External advice on IP, market, business planning, technical and/or competitive analysis to support the commercial potential of the opportunity;
  • Labour: Contract staff employed for specific project purposes; and
  • Direct research costs specific to the project receiving funding.

Examples of ineligible expenditure include but are not limited to:

  • Staff payments that would otherwise have been paid by your organisation;
  • Patent application or prosecution expenditures;
  • Marketing or promotion;
  • Conference participation;
  • Non-economy domestic travel;
  • International travel; and
  • Purchase of equipment for general usage.

 

Timing

Applications close 16 December 2019.

 

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 in