Biodesign Australia brought together 31 Biodesign leaders from around the world representing Biodesign programs from Stanford University, Texas Medical Center, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Israel, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth to discuss best practices in running medical innovation programs.
The 4-day conference, starting on 29 October 2022, was called the BioMedical Engineering Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Alliance Asia Pacific or BME IDEA APAC and included a Biodesign Strategy retreat in Yallingup, a Biodesign Showcase at the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research with over 200 attendees and a Directors’ meeting at City of Perth Council House. The theme of the conference was “Actionable Collaboration” and focused on how Biodesign programs across the APAC region and the local WA medtech ecosystem could collaborate. BME IDEA APAC co-chair, Intan Oldakowska said that “It was very exciting to bring our Biodesign colleagues to Perth and connect them to our world-class WA medtech ecosystem”
The Biodesign showcase was opened by Western Australia’s Minister for Innovation and ICT, the Hon. Stephen Dawson MLC and the Directors’ Meeting was opened by City of Perth Deputy Lord Mayor Liam Gobbert. In his address, Minister Dawson said that “The McGowan Government is pleased to support the amazing impact that Perth Biodesign has on home grown medical innovators, our state’s economy and, most important of all, the patients whose lives are improved by innovative medical devices that address real unmet clinical needs.”
The keynote speakers for the conference were Adjunct Professor Anurag Mairal, Director of Global Outreach at Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign and William McKeon, President and CEO of Texas Medical Center. Stanford Biodesign is one of the most successful collaborations between academia and the medtech industry globally, and the Texas Medical Center is the largest medical city in the world. Adj/Prof Mairal said that “It’s so exciting to see the impact that all the Biodesign programs have achieved across Asia Pacific, the US and Israel, including Biodesign Australia and Perth Biodesign. What an amazing conference convened by the Directors of Biodesign Australia and Perth Biodesign, Intan Oldakowska and Stanford Biodesign’s Global Faculty Training Fellow, Dr Matt Oldakowski.”
Other presenters included start-up companies from Biodesign Australia, namely Vysum, VitalTrace, VeinTech and Lenexa Medical, as well as from other APAC Biodesign programs, namely Remohab, HealthPixel, PrediMed, LongGood MediTech and Ripple Healthcare. Other WA medtech ecosystem companies also presented, including Curve Tomorrow, Atamo Innovations, Inspiring, Linear Clinical Research and AIRO, as well as Adarsh Australia, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research and Alcolizer Technology who sponsored the event.
During the conference, Prof Mairal generously sat down with 11 Biodesign Australia ecosystem medtech startups to give them commercialisation and market access advice and the delegates toured a number of Biodesign-founded MedTech companies. One of these was VitalTrace, a company developing a novel fetal monitoring system to keep babies and mothers safe during childbirth. CEO and founder Dr Arjun Kaushik said that: “It was extremely valuable to get advice from and connect with Prof Mairal and it was fantastic to showcase our company and facilities to the global Biodesign community.”
Prof Mairal and other medical innovation leaders were hosted by Minister Dawson at Parliament house to discuss how Perth could leverage Perth Biodesign’s experience to maximise the impact of medical innovation in the state.