Prototyping and manufacturing facility to accelerate medtech startups

Professor Calum Drummond AO, RMIT Associate Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation and Vice-President, said the initiative will create jobs, develop skills and create future opportunities to drive post-pandemic renewal.

“RMIT is proud to partner with the Victorian Government to support a thriving innovation ecosystem for Victoria, fueled by academic and industrial partnerships,” said Drummond.

“The skills required to design, build, integrate, operate and use data from medical devices span all sectors and will be essential to both economic recovery and the capability for sovereignty .

“Bridging the research-impact gap, this new facility supports the deep collaboration we need to accelerate the translation of brilliant ideas into innovative proprietary technologies.”

The ISO-accredited facility is the first of its kind in Australia and the Asia Pacific region.

It will bring universities and industry across the region for collaborations on wearables (wireless electronic devices that can be worn as accessories, embedded in clothing, or implanted in the body), nearables (smart devices that can collect and send data, but not need) be accessible to attach to a person) and flexible medical technologies (soft, skin-like and ultra-lightweight electronics).

Professor Sharath Sriram, RMIT project leader and co-director of RMIT’s Functional Materials and Microsystems Research Group, said medical devices developed at the facility would improve and save lives.

“The indigenous technologies and solutions we are developing here will benefit critical support and care sectors, including disability, mental health, elder care and family violence,” Sriram said.

“This facility gives us the confidence to move from design to a validated diagnostic product in quantities sufficient to conduct clinical and field trials.”

Led by RMIT University, the project consortium includes universities (Swinburne University, Deakin University, Monash University), industry partners (Sleeptite, Nutromics, Soterius, Vlepis, nthalmic, Innovative Manufacturing CRC), quality management and design partners (Brandwood CKC, Fluffy Spider Technologies, Outerspace Design, Design+Industry) and Peak Bodys (Australian Manufacturing Growth Centre, Cooperative Research Australia, MTP Connect).

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