MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: April Van Der Kamp

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: April Van Der Kamp

2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar April Van Der Kamp is successfully fusing science, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship. 

When it comes to scientists doing their life’s work, April comes to mind. As a founder of DFU Solutions and a PhD Candidate at Flinders University, April is building a scientific career founded in impact, commercialisation and innovation.


Phage therapy to treat diabetic foot ulcer infections

Diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are a serious and common complication of diabetes which are frequently infected by Staphylococcus aureus. Coupled with the rise of antibiotic resistance, diabetic foot ulcer infections are increasingly difficult to treat. This commonly leads to foot amputations which are correlated with a 5-year mortality of up to 70%. 

After losing a family member and looking at inefficiencies in the treatment of infected DFUs, April chose to pursue a PhD at Flinders University and founded DFU Solutions with her PhD supervisor, Associate Professor Peter Speck, to bring innovative treatments that harness bacteriophage therapy to market. 

“The passing away of loved ones due to complications associated with DFUs that are a preventable disease is a sad story. After experiencing first-hand how traumatic this can be, Peter and I are passionate about developing treatment options to improve patient outcomes and putting an end to this common story,” says April.

“We strive to improve patient outcomes with effective treatments targeted towards infection clearance.”

April Van Der Kamp in lab
April Van Der Kamp carrying out research as part of her PhD.

Science, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship

April was selected as a 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, leveraging the program to dive into research translation and commercialisation. With the opportunity to network with a cohort of Scholars, see entrepreneurs grow in MedTech Actuator Origin, and receive mentorship from industry leaders, April engaged with the industry and channelled her focus into her research. 

“I am so grateful for being a recipient of the scholarship and becoming a part of the MedTech Actuator family.”

As a part of the scholarship, across an industry-led intensive sprint and mentorship, scholarship recipients gain an extensive overview of entrepreneurship, the startup ecosystem and the commercialisation process as well as a one-off, $1,000 stipend to aid the commercialisation journey. Topics covered include pathways to market, business models, navigating Australia’s healthcare ecosystem, idea validation, intellectual property, pitching, professional development, and funding for early-stage ventures.

Through the program and its benefits, April was able to understand what it takes to successfully launch a startup and get a product to market. As a result of mentoring and leadership development, April overcame her biggest challenge, that is, doubting her capabilities to succeed. 

“I applied for the scholarship using the mantra “when in doubt, apply”. I thought the worst thing they can say is no and the best thing that could happen is I learned from experience. And I’m still learning. You don’t need to have all the answers and all the confidence to get started,” says April.

Aid your commercialisation journey with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship 2022

Through this scholarship and the MedTech Actuator community, April launched DFU Solutions. Prior to the program, becoming a founder was not a reality.

“I feel accomplished presenting DFU Solution’s one-minute pitch and to have expanded my network. By moving outside of my comfort zone and gaining new experiences beyond academia, I’ve gained a refreshing perspective of entrepreneurship and the landscape that startup founders must navigate throughout their journey.”

The Scholarship experience aims to support the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers. For April, the support from her supervisor and MedTech Actuator helped her take the jump into becoming a founder and following her passion.

“Other members from MedTech Actuator startups, such as Hatisens and the like, are such great support network in that they provide advice and guidance. This made a really big difference in my journey,” says April.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups.  

Applications are now open for the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the Scholarship here and apply now.

You can also join MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on July 6. Register here.

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Rowan Page

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Rowan Page

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar Dr Rowan Page is transforming his impact by developing a wearable light sensing device to guide people toward healthier light exposure patterns together with the team at Circadian Health Innovations.

Dr Rowan Page is an early-career researcher and the Director of the Industrial Design program in Monash University’s Faculty of Art, Design and Architecture. Rowan’s research and practice are focused on the design of smart wearable devices for health and medical applications. Through design practice, his research helps to translate fundamental medical and technology research into commercially viable outcomes.

Melding industrial design and research

Constantly blown away by technologies being developed at Monash University, Rowan knows how innovations can have a real impact on people’s lives but can see how difficult the development processes at universities can be. He has seen several projects where the quality of early-prototype research devices makes it difficult to collect data, from real people, in real-world contexts.

“The existing devices are fragile, too big, uncomfortable, hard to use, or people are embarrassed to wear them. Bringing industrial design into research early enables us to also bring consideration of human factors and end-user needs into projects early, enabling researchers to collect better and more reliable data.”

A wearable light sensing device

Rowan is carrying out the light pin device project as an Industrial Designer working in close collaboration with Circadian Health Innovations, sleep scientists, mathematical modellers, and creative technologists.

“The light pin device we are working on is the perfect embodiment of pairing world-leading research expertise, incredible electronics and technology development, and early design involvement.”

Light pin device
The light pin device: An embodiment of early design involvement & research expertise

The device enables our partners to amplify their research in circadian and sleep science and has also revealed numerous consumer applications from supporting shift work, to jet-lag management. To complement the wide application of this device, the team has also been approached by NASA and elite sports teams interested in performance optimisation.

 

Science, Research Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship recipients embark on a four-month journey, where recipients gain knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receive mentorship from MedTech Actuator.

Light pin device app
The light pin device also comes with an application to track the light score.

“The biggest challenge to overcome at the moment is the worldwide shortage of electronics components. As a small start-up, it is difficult to operate in these complex global supply chains. The scholarship program provided us with a great product development mentor who was able to connect us with excellent local manufacturers. Additionally, navigating the transition from the university to the industry had us thinking carefully about IP, funding, and how we scale up in a very different environment.”

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship encourages the next generation of health leaders to build strong foundations in commercialisation. In doing so, this program supports the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers.

Mentoring during the program enabled Rowan to start producing devices for sale.
Mentoring during the program enabled Rowan to start producing devices for sale.

“The program connected us with great manufacturers by pairing us with a product development mentor. This was a key milestone in enabling us to organize our first small run batch of manufactured devices. Allowing us to move beyond prototypes and start producing devices for sale. We also had great exposure to investors and the wider ecosystem outside of the university.”

For Rowan, mentorship with Procept was incredibly valuable, as was the advice received from MedTech Actuator CEO, Dr Buzz Palmer and the team. Alongside the 2021 Scholarship, Rowan and team members from SensiLab at Monash University, A/Prof Sean Cain, Dr Andrew Phillips, and Elliott Wilson, took part in MedTech Actuator Origin, taking their innovation through to the semi-finals.

 

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship
Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship 2022

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups.

“My advice to future Scholars is to make the most out of the experience and the learning opportunities that it provides. Even if your current project is not at the right stage for this journey yet, you never know when the knowledge that this program gives you will be useful in the future.”

Applications are now open for the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Find out more about the program and apply now.

You can also join MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas for an ‘Ask Me Anything’ session on July 6. Register here.

To stay in the loop sign up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Anushi Rajapaksa

MedTech Actuator 2021 Menzies Scholar: Dr Anushi Rajapaksa

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar Dr Anush Rajapaksa is fusing science, research commercialisation and entrepreneurship by developing rapid, life-saving drug delivery for children with infectious respiratory disease.

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa is a Senior Research Officer, at Murdoch Children’s Research Institute in Melbourne and more recently a graduate researcher within GSK, Melbourne. Anushi leads large, international, interdisciplinary research projects as the inventor of several newborn technologies. She is also the Founder of a not-for-profit organization, Think Projectthat helps to facilitate the transfer of STEM solutions to low resource settings. She has recently founded “Vitality by Dr Anushi” to cultivate her love of nutrition inspired by nature.

Turning needle phobia into an idea

Anushi says that she was on a personal mission to design ways to deliver vaccines and other therapeutics to the lungs non-invasively due to her phobia of needles. Anushi discovered and developed a new technology in the form of a nebulizer that enables a liquid vaccine to be inhaled, rather than injected.

“Growing up, I had a significant needle phobia. You could almost say that I was on a personal mission to invest in a career to explore alternative ways of medication delivery – vaccines in particular. Delivering medications to the body through the lungs seemed like a no brainer to me”, says Anushi

Anushi working in the lab developing novel, non-invasive solutions for drug delivery.
Anushi working in the lab developing novel, non-invasive solutions for drug delivery.

A new frontier in pain-free therapies

Anushi’s research has focused on RSV (Respiratory Syncytial Virus), the most common cause of acute, lower respiratory infection in young children under 5 years of age. Preterm infants are at significantly increased risk of severe RSV disease. There is no RSV vaccine and the only preventive treatment is passive protection with Palivizumab, an RSV-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb). However, this is costly (A$7,500 per course) and requires repeated injections throughout the RSV transmission season. In Australia, its use is restricted to only preterm infants with complications such as severe pulmonary hypertension and chronic lung disease.

“The aim is to develop a novel, non-invasive solution and solve the problem by delivering a first-in-class, low-cost device that is effective in protecting our children.”

Science, research commercialisation, and entrepreneurship with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship encourages the next generation of health leaders to build strong foundations in commercialisation. In doing so, this program supports the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers.

As a 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Anushi was exposed to the ecosystem, built strong foundations in commercialisation and took home the MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award in MedTech Actuator Origin.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship Experience

As a part of the Scholarship experience, recipients overcome their knowledge gaps with the support provided during intensive sprints and 1:1 coaching.

“The biggest struggle I have overcome is facing my own doubts and the unknowns regarding advancing my area of scientific passion and working through them one by one. It is a unique journey worth taking as it has certainly been transformative and personally rewarding to me. I may not have all the answers yet, but realising some fundamental questions that need head-on attention is a very good start,” says Anushi.

“I felt right at home with the friendly and resourceful team at the MedTech Actuator. It was the right amount of challenge and inspiration to take action on a vision I had been working on for over a decade. I am confident that the skills and experiences I gained through this unique program will help me make advances.”

Scholars receive access to the MedTech Actuator Origin intensive sprint and see, first-hand, what it takes to launch a healthcare venture. Anushi’s vision is to position her research to best serve a community that needs it the most through commercialisation. Whilst undertaking the Scholarship, Anushi also took The Think Project through MedTech Actuator Origin.

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, The Think Project, with Georgia Downing and Charles Aitken, Gild, and Tim Tyndale, Quitta.
Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, The Think Project, with Georgia Downing and Charles Aitken, Gild, and Tim Tyndale, Quitta.

When embarking on a four-month scholarship, recipients gain knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receive mentorship from MedTech Actuator.

“I would like to thank my team, Mr. Sanjeeva Rajapaksa, Prof. James Friend, Ashica Sood, Mayomi Samarawickrama  Mallawaarachchi, Shamal Wijeweera and Ashleigh Allan, for their support in realising our vision. I also want to recognise the support provided by Dr Buzz Palmer and my mentor Richard Sokolov and the MedTech Actuator Team for numerous discussions and advice throughout the program and beyond,” says Anushi.

Are you a future MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar?

Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship
Apply now- MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship 2022

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is an opportunity for scientists, researchers and innovators to explore the world of entrepreneurship, research commercialisation and MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech startups. 

Applications are now open for the 2022 program. Find out more about the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and apply today.

You can also join MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas for the Ask Me Anything session for any questions related to the scholarship. Register here.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.











Menzies Scholars – Where are they now?

Fusing science, research commercialisation, and entrepreneurship

Each year, MedTech Actuator and the Menzies Foundation award ten high-potential health, medical and biotechnology researchers with the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships, supporting them to explore and develop a career that fuses science, research, and entrepreneurship.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship was pivotal for 2021 Scholars as the program provided them the opportunity to gain knowledge from leading industry experts, learn alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receive mentorship from MedTech Actuator.

By leveraging 1:1 coaching, Scholars were challenged to envision their research hypothesis through a commercial lens. With direct exposure and integrated exploration of Australia’s startup ecosystem, the program set each awardee forward on a  path to innovate and create impact for human health.

Since the inaugural 2021 scholarship program, awardees have hit key milestones and taken their research ambitions to the next level, becoming ecosystem thought leaders and future founders of the next big startups in MedTech, BioTech, and HealthTech.

MedTech Actuator Origin 2021

A number of Scholars have continued their entrepreneurial journey, entering and participating in the MedTech Actuator Origin program. Pitching their innovations to the ecosystem, program participants included the following Scholars:

  • Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, Senior Research Officer, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Founder, Think Project Global
    • Winner of the MedTech Actuator People’s Choice Award
    • Project: Developing rapid, life-saving drug delivery for children with infectious respiratory disease.
  • Dr Rowan Page, Lecturer and Industrial Design Program Director, Monash University.
    • MedTech Actuator Origin 2021 Semi-Finalist
    • Project: Developing a wearable light sensing device to guide people toward healthier light exposure patterns
  • Dr Sebastian Corlette, Anaesthetist, Royal Children’s Hospital and PhD Candidate, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne
    • MedTech Actuator Origin 2021 Semi-Finalist
    • Project: Developing a new sensor for high-quality, long-term electroencephalogram (EEG) measurement in young babies
  • Ritesh Warty, PhD candidate, Monash University
    • Project: Novel device for rehabilitating pelvic floor muscles in women with pelvic organ prolapse.
  • Ethan Grooby, PhD candidate, Monash University
    • MedTech Actuator Origin 2021 Finalist
    • Project: Developing a smart digital stethoscope and video system with a supporting app to help clinicians accurately and easily monitor newborn health.
  • Dr Chia-Chi Chien, Chief Scientific Officer, Research Fellow, OminiWell Pty Ltd
    • Winner of the EY MedTech Actuator Prize
    • Project: A novel device that provides researchers and clinicians with a safer and faster method of testing the drug treatment efficacy for cancer patients.
  • Alinta Furnell, Co-founder, Synbiote, and Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) (Medical Biotechnology & Microbiology), University of NSW
    • Project: Developing a point of care diagnostic that enables people to rapidly test for multiple sexually transmitted infections in the comfort of their own home.
  • Ismat Kabbara, Co-founder, Synbiote and Master of Science in Anatomy, University of NSW
    • Project: Making biological materials for pharmaceuticals more efficient to manufacture and affordable

Synbiote, led by Scholars, Alinta and Ismat, has received a number of awards including the Sydney Knowledge Hub Research Collaboration Award, the IP Group Emerging Company Award, Tech for Good Hub scholarship 2022, Healthcare Category finalist in the Venture Further Awards 2022 and continues to make waves in the Australian BioTech scene. 

Becoming Ecosystem Leaders & Future Founders

2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, with mentor, Richard Sokolov, IDE Group, at the MedTech Actuator Showcase in December.
2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar, Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, with mentor, Richard Sokolov, IDE Group, at the MedTech Actuator Showcase in December.

The Scholarship encourages health researchers and innovators to build strong foundations in commercialisation and supports the scientific community’s capacity to bring innovation to the market. In doing so, the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship helps to nurture the next generation of leaders in healthcare entrepreneurship.

A number of Scholars are continuing to make waves across Australia’s health and medical ecosystem, including:

  • Dr Anushi Rajapaksa who received a REDI fellowship with GSK for research project detailed above;
  • April Van Der Kamp, PhD Candidate, Flinders University, who has begun a PhD at Flinders University and is commercialising her research into a BioTech startup;
  • Ethan Grooby who is leading the team behind the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) International Student Conference (ISC) Series at Monash University;
  • Marta Orlowska, PhD Candidate, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Queensland University of Technology, who presented her PhD research at the 16th Congress of the Federation of Asian and Oceanian Biochemists and Molecular Biologists;
  • Julie Dao, PhD candidate, Monash University, who is the president of Monash Young MedTech Innovators and who completed the Startmate Women’s Fellowship in 2021;
  • Debolina Majumdar, PhD candidate, RMIT University was awarded the RMIT HDR Student Leader of the Year Award in 2021;
  • Dr Luke Visscher, Doctor, QLD Health; PhD candidate, Queensland University of Technology, who was awarded a Medical Research Fellowship at the AO Research Institute Davos, Switzerland; and,
  • Erin Humphries, Research Assistant at Children’s Medical Research Institute and Masters by Research Student at the University of Sydney, who was awarded the Females in Mass Spectrometry Empowerment Award in 2021.

Do you want to transform your impact?

Expressions of interest are now open for the 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships.

Register your expression of interest here or join MedTech Actuator CEO, Dr Buzz Palmer, and Menzies Foundation CEO, Liz Gillies, on June 7 for a Scholarship information session. Reserve your place today.

As a part of the scholarship, recipients will embark on a four-month scholarship, gaining knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Australia’s emerging healthcare entrepreneurs and receive mentorship from MedTech Actuator. 

Across an industry-led intensive sprint and mentorship, scholarship recipients will gain an extensive overview of entrepreneurship, the startup ecosystem, and the commercialisation process, as well as a one-off, $1,000 stipend to aid their commercialisation journey. Topics covered include pathways to market, business models, navigating Australia’s healthcare ecosystem, idea validation, intellectual property, pitching, professional development, and funding for early-stage ventures.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission.

Stay in the loop by signing up for news and updates below, and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter

You can also reach out to MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator, Makenzie Thomas, with any questions at makenzie@medtechactuator.com

Meet Makenzie – Program and Community Coordinator

MedTech Actuator Program and Community Coordinator Makenzie Thomas brings her passion for entrepreneurship, startup ecosystems and supporting founders to delivering MedTech Actuator Origin, and the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and Fellowship programs.

Makenzie’s international experience spans Europe, Australia, and Canada – working in project management, marketing, business innovation, academic research, and creative and cultural entrepreneurship.

MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021.
Makenzie with Maria Pelipas – MedTech Actuator, Emily Casey – What The Health and Bonnie Zhang – TRAM, University of Melbourne at the MedTech Actuator Showcase 2021.

Makenzie draws on this international experience to deliver MedTech Actuator Origin – an idea pitch competition – and the MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship and Fellowship programs – supporting researchers alongside the Menzies Foundation to transform their impact.

“My role covers everything from rolling out application campaigns to participant experience, to program delivery. I also look after our community and its activities,” says Makenzie.

“From one day to the next I could be writing communications, drafting social media visuals, developing program strategy, jumping into workshops, providing pitch feedback to founders, working with our network of inspiring speakers – it is quite a mixed bag!”

Cheering on founders

Working with founders is a real highlight for Makenzie in her role.

“They’ve got such a unique energy that becomes the foundation upon which they build their startups.

One thing I love about my role is that we’re right there with them, celebrating the small wins, cheering them on as they pitch (over and over) and guiding them in the right direction.

It takes so much to go from idea to successful startup and it certainly doesn’t happen overnight.

The ecosystem, accelerator programs, like MedTech Actuator, and their own personal networks are essential to success.

Being a part of this world and being able to have an impact across a number of founder journeys is my why. It’s the reason I’m here at MedTech Actuator.”

On the horizon

Makenzie says that there’s a lot happening in the MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech space, especially in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region.

“I’m entering this corner of the entrepreneurship world with fresh eyes and I know that the ecosystem is growing and seeing some big wins. I’m really excited to learn from MedTech Actuator, the innovation ecosystem and the amazing founders coming through our programs.

The ecosystem is channeling a lot of this energy into supporting and nurturing female founders as well. The State of Australian Startup Funding 2021 report published by Cut Through Ventures and Folklore noted that from 2020 to 2021, funding events involving at least one female founder rose by 1%, leaving a whopping 81% of deals for all-male founding teams.

It’s disappointing, to say the least, but it is a huge challenge facing the whole industry and it stems from a number of systemic issues. Considering that MedTech Actuator supports and works closely with so many inspiring female founders, we’ll be doing more to amplify these stories, share the wins, demand space for women at the table, and open our calendars to early-stage female founders, researchers, and clinicians so that these numbers can continue to shift in the right direction.”

Meet our team

Get to know how others in the MedTech Actuator team are supporting Asia Pacific’s next wave of health innovators:

Meet the next MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholars

The MedTech Actuator and Menzies Foundation are thrilled to announce the second cohort of MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships.

After an overwhelming response to our call for applications – we were three times oversubscribed – MedTech Actuator and the Menzies Foundation have narrowed it down to an inspiring cohort of researchers and scientists who are ready to transform their impact.

Embarking on a two-month scholarship, recipients will gain insight from industry experts, learn alongside Australia’s best emerging entrepreneurs, access exclusive industry events and network with a dynamic cohort of innovators. The scholarship supports emerging scientists and researchers on their pathway to an impact-driven career fusing science, research, and entrepreneurship.

Introducing the new scholars

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship cohort are passionate about developing healthcare solutions that improve and save lives. Their diverse expertise spans diabetes, cancer treatments, precision medicine, wellbeing devices, gene therapy, neonatal care and more. 

Scholarship recipients include:

Dr Sebastian Corlette, Anaesthetist, Royal Children’s Hospital and PhD Candidate, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the University of Melbourne.

Project: Developing a new sensor for high-quality, long-term electroencephalogram (EEG) measurement in young babies.

Darcy Dunn-Lawless, Master of Engineering (Biomedical), Flinders University.

Project: Developing a new medical implant for cancer patients who have had orthopaedic surgery.

Adaeze Ekwe, PhD Candidate, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Queensland University of Technology.

Project: Developing a novel cellular therapy for graft-versus-host disease using genetically modified regulatory T cells.

Erin Humphries, Research Assistant at Children’s Medical Research Institute and Masters by Research Student at the University of Sydney.

Project: Discovering new biological insights into cancer.

Ismat Kabbara, Co-founder, Synbiote and Master of Science in Anatomy, University of NSW.

Project: Making biological materials for pharmaceuticals more efficient to manufacture and affordable.

Marta Orlowska, PhD Candidate, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute and Queensland University of Technology.

Project: Investigating metabolic shifts at a cellular level, through time of day dependent influencing factors.

Dr Rowan Page, Lecturer and Industrial Design Program Director, Monash University.

Project: Developing a wearable light sensing device to guide people toward healthier light exposure patterns.

Dr Anushi Rajapaksa, Senior Research Officer, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and Founder, Think Project Global.

Project: Developing rapid, life-saving drug delivery for children with infectious respiratory disease.

Rance Brennan B. Tino, PhD Candidate, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre and RMIT Centre for Additive Manufacturing, RMIT University.

Project: 3D Printing of bespoke phantoms for treatment planning verifications in radiotherapy

April Van Der Kamp, PhD Candidate, Flinders University.

Project: Developing novel diabetic foot ulcer treatments.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship Experience

Joining MedTech Actuator Origin, scholars will be exposed to the world of entrepreneurship and see what it takes to commercialise successful healthcare ventures. Topics covered across workshops and an industry-led intensive sprint will include intellectual property, pitching, business modelling, pathways-to-market, regulatory strategies, market analysis and more.

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships will provide recipients with a $1,000 stipend and a pivotal learning experience to amplify their careers as champions for impact-driven healthcare innovation.

Follow their journey – or get ready to become a scholar

Sign up to our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow the journey of scholars – and to find out how to be a 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission in partnership with the MedTech Actuator.

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships applications open

Are you a researcher in MedTech, BioTech or HealthTech looking to explore entrepreneurship and commercialisation? Do you have a research project with market translation potential? Apply now for 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships!

Applications are now open for the 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships. Ten researchers will each receive a tailored learning experience, access to exclusive industry events and a one-off,  $1,000 stipend to explore entrepreneurship and commercialisation goals.  

Scholarships are available to high-potential scientists in MedTech, BioTech or HealthTech and researchers who may be undertaking their honours, masters, PhD or PostDoc – or perhaps have recently started working in industry. 

Scholarship recipients will be provided with unparalleled networking opportunities, leadership mentoring and insights into a career that fuses science, research, and entrepreneurship.

“Researchers make some of the most promising entrepreneurs – they are curious, natural problem solvers, humble and used to getting back on their feet after experiment failures.”
– Dr Buzz Palmer, CEO MedTech Actuator

The three-month scholarship will run from October to December and can be undertaken remotely while studying and working. Valued over $10,000, scholars will have access to the MedTech Actuator knowledge hub, online workshops, a three-day intensive from November 15 – 17 and the MedTech Actuator Showcase on December 9. 

“The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship helped me improve my understanding of the MedTech industry, and I am already applying this new knowledge to our initiatives in women’s health technologies. I am extremely grateful to the MedTech Actuator and Menzies Foundation for providing me with this opportunity!”
Ritesh Warty, MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholar

Scholarship recipients will learn alongside Australia’s best emerging entrepreneurs competing in the MedTech Actuator Origin pitch competition. In the final month of the scholarship, recipients will attend the MedTech Actuator Showcase and network with the largest names in global MedTech corporates, clinicians, ecosystem VIPs and investors.

Beyond these unique insights and opportunities, scholarship recipients will gain an extensive overview of entrepreneurship, the startup ecosystem and the commercialisation process. Topics will include business modelling, pitching, intellectual property, product development, branding, path-to-market, and more.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship will support the scientific community’s commercialisation capacity by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to scientists and researchers.

If you are an academic or industry  scientist or researcher – or you know one – you can find out more about the scholarship and apply today.

Key dates:

  • Applications open July 5 – August 20
  • Shortlisted candidates notified August 25
  • Video interviews September 9
  • MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship outcomes released September 15
  • MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship Lunches October
  • MedTech Actuator Origin intensive November 15 – 17
  • MedTech Actuator Showcase Gala December 9

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission in partnership with the MedTech Actuator.

Apply now

Inaugural 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships announced.

Ten high-potential health, medical and biotechnology researchers have been selected to each receive a 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship – supporting them to develop a career that fuses science, research, and entrepreneurship.

The researchers and scientists are about to embark on a 3-month scholarship, where they will gain knowledge from leading industry experts, work alongside Asia Pacific’s best emerging entrepreneurs and have access to exclusive industry events.

Passionate about innovating to improve and save lives, the scholarship recipients are working in diverse fields spanning obstetrics, neonatal care, assistive reproductive technologies, emergency care, paediatrics, orthopaedic surgery, sexually transmitted infections, personalised precision medicine and more.

Scholarship recipients include:

  • Martina Barzan – Research Fellow, Griffith University
  • Sohyb Basir – Emergency Doctor & GP Trainee, Mater Health
  • Chia-Chi Chien – Chief Scientific Officer, Research Fellow, OminiWell Pty Ltd
  • Julie Dao – PhD candidate, Monash University
  • Alinta Furnell – Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours) (Medical Biotechnology & Microbiology), UNSW Sydney
  • Ethan Grooby – PhD candidate, Monash University
  • Debolina Majumdar – PhD candidate, RMIT University
  • Hope Newman – Master of Reproductive Science student, Monash University
  • Luke Visscher – Doctor, QLD Health; PhD candidate, QUT
  • Ritesh Warty – PhD candidate, Monash University

Scholarship recipients will complete online learning and an intensive sprint alongside Asia Pacific’s best emerging entrepreneurs competing in the MedTech Actuator Origin international pitch competition. Recipients will also watch entrepreneurs pitch in Rapid Fire Rounds and the Gala Finals and will be welcomed into the MedTech Actuator’s Asia-Pacific-wide network that spans the entire commercialisation pipeline.

The industry-led intensive sprint and online course will provide scholarship recipients with a strong foundation in commercialisation. Topics will include intellectual property, pitching, startup 101, finance for beginners, business modelling, design thinking, path-to-market, and market analysis.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission in partnership with the MedTech Actuator.

Sign up to our newsletter below and connect with us on Twitter and LinkedIn to follow the journey of scholarship recipients – and to find out how to be a 2022 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship recipient.

MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships now open

Applications are now open for 2021 MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarships – each valued at $10,000. Ten junior researchers will each receive tailored education, access to exclusive industry events and a $1,000 stipend to support them in exploring their commercialisation goals.

Scholarships are available to high-potential junior health, medical or biotechnology scientists and researchers who may be undertaking their honours, masters or PhD – or even starting to work in their chosen field.

The three-month scholarship will run from February to April 2021 and can be undertaken remotely while studying and working – requiring a small time commitment in month one and two and attendance at a three day immersion intensive during month three.

Scholarship recipients will experience unparalleled networking opportunities and gain insights into the possibilities in a career that fuses science, research, and entrepreneurship.

Scholarship recipients will complete their immersion intensive and online learning alongside Asia Pacific’s best emerging entrepreneurs competing in the MedTech Actuator Origin international pitch competition. In the final month of the scholarship, recipients will see the entrepreneurs pitch in MedTech Actuator Origin Rapid Fire Rounds and Gala Finals and network with the largest names in global MedTech corporates, clinicians, ecosystem VIPs and investors.

Beyond these unique insights and networking opportunities, the immersion intensive and online course will provide scholarship recipients with a strong foundation in commercialisation. Topics will include intellectual property, pitching, startup 101, finance for beginners, business modelling, design thinking, path-to-market, and market analysis.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship will support the scientific community’s commercialisation capacity by facilitating knowledge transfer from industry to junior scientists and researchers.

If you are a junior scientist or researcher – or you know one – you can find out more about the scholarship and apply here.

The MedTech Actuator Menzies Scholarship is supported by the Menzies Foundation as part of their Entrepreneurship in Science mission in partnership with the MedTech Actuator.

Apply now