New collaboration nets state grant to boost medtech in Western Australia

SOURCE: Ousa Chea/Unsplash
One of the programme offerings will help researchers identify needs and develop medical solutions.

By U2B Staff 

Read all stories

A state government fund has been awarded to an innovative initiative to boost innovation in Western Australia’s healthcare sector that will, in turn, support Australia’s brightest medtech entrepreneurs and early-stage start-ups.

The Western Australia state governments X-TREND WA grant is part of an AU$16.7 million New Industries Fund and has recently been awarded to Perth Biodesign, an initiative created in a collaboration led by the University of Western Australia and Edith Cowan University. 

The grant will support a suite of programmes run by local medtech innovation and entrepreneurship educators. 

The X-TEND grant will support three Perth Biodesign programmes this year. 


This includes their flagship six-month Perth Biodesign for Medtech programme, led by multidisciplinary teams to identify and validate unmet clinical needs and inventing the appropriate medical technology solution and finally develop the pathway to commercialisation for this solution. 

Besides that, there will also be two-day Biodesign Bootcamps and a partnership between Industry and PhD Research Engagement Programme Western Australia (iPREP WA) and Perth Biodesign: iPREP Biodesign.This programme is a seven-week long industry and PhD engagement programme that will offer late-stage PhD candidates the opportunity to work on real-life problems faced by healthcare organisations. 

These new programmes were created by Perth Biodesign Directors Dr Matt Oldakowski and Intan Oldakowska in collaboration with iPREP’s Narelle Jones from Edith Cowan University to fill identified gaps in specialised healthcare innovation and commercialisation training within Perth. 

Perth has the potential to become one of Australia’s top life sciences hubs. Source: National Cancer Institute/Unsplash. 

According to the University of Western Australia programme lead, Professor Kevin Pfleger, the grant had come at a particularly good time for West Australia health innovation, with Health Minister Roger Cook recently declaring Perth as one of Australia’s top life sciences hubs. 

“This new collaboration will help to support and accelerate emerging talent to diversify the Western Australian economy and create new WA jobs and industries,” he said. 

The programmes by Perth Biodesign has received support from the University of Western Australia, Murdoch University, Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, Telethon Kids Institute, and the Perron Institute. 


Australian Innovation and ICT Minister Dave Kelly announced five Western Australian organisations in total that have received grants of up to AU$100,000 each that aim to deliver innovator and investor education programmes that support the development of entrepreneurs and stimulate private investment in innovative projects within the state. 

Other successful recipients of the X-TEND WA grants include AgriStart, an initiative to provide master classes on start-up investing and connecting female entrepreneurs and investors in collaboration with South-West Angels; Perth Angels, a training programme that encourages women to invest in start-ups and early-stage businesses; Plus Eight Entrepreneurial Academy Programme which is delivered by regional innovation facilitator Meshpoints, and China Gateway.