A new medical technology company that will help accelerate the development and commercialisation of Australian-born medical devices for the global market, was launched in Queensland today. The new Queensland-based company, 61medical, is a subsidiary of 41medical, an established and highly regarded medical device manufacturer based in Switzerland.
The Company’s launch was marked today by the signing of a three-way MoU between the Queensland Government, 61medical and 41medical.
The MoU will support the growth and resilience of Queensland’s medical technology (medtech) sector.
61medical will focus on manufacturing high-value medical technology to provide intelligent, connected health care options, to help improve quality of life for patients across the globe.
The Company will work with Australian clinicians, researchers, universities, institutions, and medtech companies to fast-track the development and commercialisation of technology breakthroughs.
61medical has also launched a new investment fund to help Australian innovations get to market more quickly, including medical devices incorporating artificial intelligence and robotics.
Minister for State Development and Innovation Kate Jones said the Palaszczuk Government will support 61medical to set-up in Queensland and through this partnership will help drive advancements in research and innovation, particularly in the medtech industry.
“Queensland’s biomedical industry contributes around $1.86 billion to the state economy and employs approximately 10,700 people,” Ms Jones said.
“This sector has huge potential for growth in Queensland. That’s why we’ve got a deliberate strategy to partner with biomedical companies to harness that demand and create local jobs.
“Under the MoU, 41medical and 61medical will set up a contract medical device development and manufacturing business in Queensland, bringing with them 41medical’s extensive knowledge, expertise and international networks in the medtech sector.
“This government has a plan to capitalise on the emergence of new technologies and deliver on our Queensland Biomedical 10-Year Roadmap.
“Today’s announcement is great proof of business confidence in Queensland. We’ll continue to partner with the private sector to develop this industry, supporting more biomedical jobs in Queensland in the future.”
The Palaszczuk Government is supporting the company’s establishment, as well as helping it locate in a hospital precinct, close to researchers and clinicians, and facilitating access to research and development incentives.
The establishment of 61medical has been led by Mr Ian Walker, a former Queensland Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, who will chair the local company.
“61medical will help sharpen Australia’s competitiveness by improving its advanced manufacturing capability, particularly in the medtech space,” Mr Walker said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the need for more advanced manufacturing capability in Australia, particularly a self-sufficiency in medical manufacturing.
“Our focus on local production means researchers can be confident in the process and quality and can maintain a close eye on the manufacturing process, which is difficult if the manufacturing is taking place overseas.”
“We will also play a role in strengthening the Australian medtech industry and in turn help to support jobs and career paths for graduates entering the industry.”
41medical in Switzerland has a strong track record in the development and production of high-end prototypes and medical devices for the human musculoskeletal system, including traumatology, spine, orthopaedics, dental, rehabilitation and sports medicine. 41medical develops, manufactures, and acts as a legal manufacturer for companies from start-ups to global medtech giants and its employees hold 300 patents and patent registrations.
41medical Chairman and owner Professor Robert Frigg welcomed the opportunity to support Australian medical innovation and his company had identified Australia as a country with outstanding potential.
“We know Australia punches well above its weight in terms of medical research and innovation, and we see an opportunity to help bridge the gap between that knowledge to market readiness that is often missing due to the costs and capabilities required.
“The backing of 41medical guarantees Australian researchers direct access to a large international network for validation, industrialisation, and supply chain, as well as access to large medtech companies.”
Professor Michael Schuetz from the Jamieson Trauma Institute, Metro North Hospital and Health Service and the Faculty of Health at Queensland University of Technology said 61medical is filling the innovation gap in Australia.
“61medical will have an extensive capacity for manufacturing medical devices, which is essential to fill the existing gap to bring our smart innovations into patient care in Queensland and Australia.
“This is an exciting keystone to make our research valuable for the trauma care of our patients”, he said.
61medical will eventually seek to raise a further $8 million from institutional and sophisticated investors. The capital raised will primarily be used to establish an investment fund to support specific development projects.
The company is currently investigating several opportunities to ensure a pipeline of investment ready opportunities when it commences operating in January 2021.
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