The next round of the Bridge Program has officially launched in Melbourne with 98 participants.
It was one of 14 funded by MTPConnect - the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Industry Growth Centre.
The collaboration is comprised of AbbVie, Amgen, Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Boehringer Ingelheim, Celgene, CSL, Johnson & Johnson, Macquarie University, the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund, Medicines Australia, MSD, Mundipharma, Novartis, Pfizer and QUT.
The need for a program followed a succession of reports highlighting the lack of practical support for commercialisation as a gap in Australia's innovation ecosystem.
According to Kirsten O'Doherty, AbbVie general manager and Medicines Australia board member, “Drawing on the program’s globally connected groups, the Bridge Program teaches aspiring Aussie biotech entrepreneurs and academics the strategies and cutting‐edge technologies needed to commercialise world-‐class medicines.
"The program offers unique value and is driving 21st-century skills needed to support innovative Australian jobs. Recognising its important role in the growth and expansion of this sector in Australia, The Bridge Program is supported by industry matched funding from government body MTPConnect – the Medical Technology, Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical (MTP) Industry Growth Centre."
The program accepted around 100 participants in 2017 and 2018. It is now in its final year of funding and will be relying on a renewed commitment from industry and the government to continue beyond the current intake of participants.