The Australian Research Council (ARC) Training Centre for Innovative BioEngineering was launched at the University of Sydney at a symposium attended by leading biomedical researchers, clinical practitioners and industry partners.
The new Training Centre will receive $4.42 million over five years from the Australian Government through the ARC Industrial Transformation Training Centres scheme.
ARC Chief Executive Officer, Professor Sue Thomas, welcomed the launch of the Training Centre, which will be led by pioneering biomaterials and tissue engineer Professor Hala Zreiqat and comprises a team of world-leading researchers in biomedical innovation.
“The ARC Training Centre for Innovative Bioengineering will provide the next generation of graduates with technical, translational, commercialisation, and entrepreneurial skills to overcome industry-focused challenges in biomedical engineering,” Professor Thomas said.
The Training Centre will also focus on creating new implant technologies to improve lives and to lower healthcare costs by monitoring the healing process, and improving patient mobility and function. This combined approach will thus reduce the lengths of stay and re-admissions in hospitals, and improve the long-term well-being of Australian citizens.
Speaking at the symposium, University of Sydney Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr Michael Spence also applauded the launch of the new Training Centre.
“As well as advancing important biomedical engineering research, the new Training Centre will create significant opportunities for our students to be involved in real-world problem solving and to develop links with organisations outside the University,” he said.
Professor Zreiqat, from the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies and Sydney Nano Institute, said the new Training Centre would address key challenges facing the health and medical sector.
“As we face the realities of a rapidly ageing population, the biomedical engineers of today and tomorrow will have a vital role to play in the health and medical sector,” she said.
“The ARC Training Centre for Innovative BioEngineering will provide hands-on training in translating new technology into real-world solutions, taking into account the needs of clinicians and patients, and the technical challenges of introducing innovative new healthcare products.
“We will build frameworks for developing routes to market for commercially-viable healthcare technologies, yielding economic benefits and creating a global competitive advantage for Australia.”
Researchers based at the University of Sydney will work closely with researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), University of Technology Sydney (UTS), and Swinburne University of Technology (SUT), as well as industry partners Allegra Orthopaedics, Peter Brehm GmbH, Osseointegration International Pty Ltd, Ti2 Medical Pty Ltd, and the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
Proposed research projects to be undertaken at the Training Centre include the development of personalised medical implants and integrated bioelectronic sensors to assess a patient’s healing process. The Training Centre will also lead in the discovery of our next-generation biomedical implants.