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 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 LtdVictoria, 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.
  • HemideinaVictoria, 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.

 

More Information

 

Media Release

The Morrison Government is investing $18.8 million to supercharge the discovery of better treatments for cancer, epilepsy, stroke, paralysis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, brain injuries, back pain and chronic middle ear disease.

Under round three of our Government’s $45 million BioMedTech Horizons (BMTH) program, 21 very promising projects will receive funding to help unlock some of the key health challenges of our times.

Successful applicants will use the funding to develop medical devices–including wearable devices–telehealth and telemedicine, and digitally-enabled personalised medicine.

Our Government is supporting Australia’s world-class biomedical and medical technology sector for the benefit of all Australians, while creating new jobs, growing expertise and building sustainable export markets.

Victoria-based Seer will receive $1 million to develop a real-time seizure forecasting system, through mobile and wearable monitoring, to empower people with epilepsy to regain control of their condition.

This project has great potential to save lives and improve lives of people with epilepsy and their families.

Other projects include a 3D bioprinting system for regenerating skin and developing a smart brain biopsy needle for faster, safer neurosurgery.

The Morrison Government provides funding for the BioMedTech Horizons program through its $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), while industry is backing these projects by matching contributions to the tune of $21.3 million.

The MRFF is a key pillar of Australia’s long term national health plan to build the world’s best health system.

MTPConnect, a not-for-profit organisation driving innovation, productivity and competitiveness in the medical technologies, biotechnologies and pharmaceuticals sector, delivers BioMedTech Horizons on behalf of the Australian Government.