Monday, 23 July 2018 17:51

New partnership looks to accelerate therapeutic tech improvements

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The first placements of PhDs, including women graduates, with business and industry have commenced under a partnership between the Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute’s APR.Intern program and the recently established ARC Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies.

With more than 500 Australian MedTech companies already in operation and skill demand growing, the ARC CPTT says it aims to foster supply of PhDs with both the research and industry skills to drive product research and development, and oversee regulatory affairs which are required for future growth of the sector.

And in what is viewed as a boost for health innovation, and enhancing APR.Intern’s focus on accelerating women into STEM, the collaboration will increase PhD industry engagement through placement of 24 of the Centre’s skilled PhDs in short-term research projects over four years.

With data from the Office of the Chief Scientist showing women account for only 16% of Australia’s current STEM workforce, AMSI director Professor Geoff Prince said the partnership would open exciting opportunities to address gender equity while equipping a new generation of medical research leaders.

“These projects will have transformative impacts for health innovation, while training PhDs with essential skills to drive commercial medical research and development,” he said.

The internships would contribute to placements to be delivered by APR.Intern under the Australian Government’s $28.2 million supporting more women in STEM careers: Australian Mathematical Sciences Institute –  National Research Internship Program.

ARC Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies director Professor Alastair Stewart said facilitation of PhD industry engagement opportunities was central to meeting this challenge in Australia.

“A core mission for our Centre and APR.Intern, this partnership opens critical avenues to provide PhDs with essential experiential industry training helping to future proof the biomedical workforce,” he said.

A collaboration between the University of Melbourne, Monash University, the University of Western Australia and 15 partner organisations, the ARC Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies aims to improve technology enabling the selection of therapies and ability to fast track their progression to clinical trial.

Delivered by AMSI, Australian Postgraduate Research Intern (formerly AMSIIntern) is Australia's only national all sector – all discipline internship program placing PhD students into business.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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