The federal government has selected Brandon BioCatalyst, in partnership with ANDHealth, to deliver the $50 million BioMedTech Incubator (BMTI) program.
The new program will be funded through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).
The new BMTI program, which commences later this year, aims to accelerate the commercialisation of promising Australian biomedical and digital health discoveries.
Companies have access to up to $5 million in non-dilutive funding over a five-year period to support the translation and commercial development of their biomedical and digital health technologies.
In addition to funding, the BMTI grant aims to provide hands-on support to progress Australian innovations to the point where they are commercially attractive to investors or partners.
“I applaud the Federal Government for trailblazing a new model for how innovation and translation are supported in this country,” says Dr Chris Nave, CEO of Brandon BioCatalyst. “In under two years they have provided funding to establish a national incubator of global scale, accessible to any researcher or innovator in the health and medical arena wanting to develop products that have the potential to transform patient outcomes.”
“Australia sits in the top handful of countries for our biomedical capabilities and discoveries, but we have traditionally performed poorly at translating this research into new medicines to improve patient health. Under this new Government-supported model, this collaborative program will provide grant funding like an investor, providing expertise and hands-on support, setting clear development milestones that must be met to receive subsequent funding tranches. This is a powerful new way to fund research translation and if successful, may become an important component of how we fund research in Australia,” said Dr Nave.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with Brandon Capital to deliver this new grant funding program,” said ANDHealth Managing Director and CEO Bronwyn Le Grice.
“Having worked with over 650 digital health companies across Australia, access to finance and digital health domain expertise remain some of the most pressing challenges for our innovators and entrepreneurs. Non-dilutive funding, such as that available under the CUREator and ANDHealth+ programs, and now available on a larger scale through the BMTI, can be critical in supporting companies to navigate the viability gap and succeed in getting their product into the hands of patients and healthcare providers.”
“We are excited to work alongside ANDHealth to fund and nurture the next generation of emerging Australian start-ups to maximise their chances of success,” said Dr Amanda Vrselja, the program head of CUREator.
“At CUREator our purpose is to ensure our most promising research discoveries don’t get lost in academic journals but are instead developed using commercially focussed grant funding to become investment ready. This is the missing link in how translation is supported in Australia.”
Grace Lethlean, the general manager of ANDHealth+ and chief product officer at ANDHealth added, “I’m excited to work with the team at Brandon BioCatalyst on this ground-breaking new Australian government backed fund, which represents another great investment opportunity for Australian innovators to develop and commercialise onshore and then take Australian-made solutions to the rest of the world.”