Texas Medical Center – Bio-Bridge Initiative
TMC is the world’s largest medical centre, featuring 21 hospitals, and a multitude of research, academic and support institutions. Over the past year, the Australian Consulate in Houston has worked closely with TMC leadership to identify opportunities for collaboration, particularly in the medical technology field.
TMC leadership visited Australia twice in 2016 to see firsthand the expertise Australia holds in research and clinical trials, as well as identify common challenges and explore innovative solutions. For its part, TMC is currently focused on enhancing the TMC Innovation Institute and is excited to work with Australia as it also seeks to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the life sciences sector.
This led to the formal announcement on 7 December 2016, of the Bio-Bridge Initiative between Australia and TMC. The Bio-Bridge Initiative is a partnership between TMC and Australia’s medical technology sector aimed at fostering collaboration across commercialisation, innovation, capital, international research, disruptive technologies, industry exchange fellowships, clinical trial networks, research incubator hubs and biomedical translation. It is designed to create a two-way flow of capital and resources, combined with expertise and knowledge. The Initiative is aligned with the Government’s National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA), the Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities, and will take a national approach to linking regional innovation hubs throughout Australia to TMC.
As a priority, to address gaps in the commercialisation of innovative solutions in the health sector, the initial program will focus on sharing TMC expertise in this area. TMC now hosts three Australian start-up companies in its innovation program: Ward Medication Management, Personify Care, and CSNDose. This is a four month program where industry advisors take companies through a health care-focused curriculum with an emphasis on commercialisation. The program will allow these companies to experience the start-up methodology and return to home institutions and pass on expertise.