NSW Health & Cicada Innovations celebrate Australia’s biggest health startup training program with 1.1k participants in first year

SYDNEY, Nov. 4, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The NSW Health Commercialisation Training Program (CT Program), delivered by Australia’s pioneer deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations and launched one year ago, hosted a Demo Day on 3rd November 2022 held at Cicada Innovations and attended by NSW Secretary of Health Susan Pearce.

Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams
Cicada Innovations CEO Sally-Ann Williams

The CT Program was designed according to learnings from NSW Health and Cicada Innovation’s former "Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program" (MDCTP) which supported 1,037 medtech innovators between 2014 to 2020. 

The new CT Program saw numbers skyrocket compared to MDCTP, which was solely open to participants working on medical device technologies, after its scope was expanded to also span the spectrum of therapeutics, diagnostics, and software as a medical device, along with medical devices.

Many of the companies formed from the program have raised over $67 million in growth capital and grants, including from the NSW Medical Device Fund, by the end of the program.

The new CT Program has already attracted over 1,100 participants in its first year alone.

Its aim is to build sustainable NSW businesses and fast-track innovative ideas that will revolutionise the healthcare sector, improve patient outcomes, and provide economic opportunities for emerging businesses that now span healthtech, biotech, and medtech.

It was designed and delivered by 80+ industry experts, including Alan Taylor, Exec Chairman of Cicada resident company that achieved Australia’s largest ASX biotech listing in 2021, Clarity Pharmaceuticals, and Bronwyn LeGrice, founder and CEO of Australia’s only organisation specialised in accelerating commercialisation of digital health companies, ANDHealth

Sally-Ann Williams, CEO of Cicada Innovations, said: "The incredible growth in participant numbers that occurred this year is really evident of the growing vision and opportunity that NSW Health has catalysed for health tech companies in the state. The long term investment in capability building is paying off in not just the increase in people participating in the program, but in the number of promising commercialisation activities we are seeing."

Katja Beitat of Cicada Innovations, said: "The wider scope of the Program covering bio, med, and health technology innovations is forward looking amid an increasing number of emerging combined technologies, such as digitally enabled drug discoveries and personalised medical devices utilising AI and machine learning. Supporting a multidisciplinary approach to innovation is what sets this Program apart."

This year’s program comprised 11 modules which build upon each other to provide relevant information at the right stage of commercialisation, and was delivered in fully hybrid form (both online and in person) to support scale and accessibility.

It comprised three key stages, from getting started, to validating an idea with peers and experts, to helping participants accelerate their market entry and growth.

The program will run again from July 2023 to June 2024, and is open to researchers, scientists, clinicians, entrepreneurs, intrapreneurs, and those in the health sector who are working on a novel medical device, diagnostic or therapeutic product, or a software that is considered a medical device residing in NSW.

Demo companies presenting at the 3rd November 2022 Showcase:

  • Neurode has developed an evidence-based treatment for adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) using a non-invasive brain stimulation device and a complementary digital health app to monitor and offer behavioural management strategies to patients.
  • A team at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research has developed a PCR diagnostic test to detect kidney disease early. This platform technology has the potential to also be applied to non-invasive prenatal testing, breast cancer, and lung transplants. 
  • Radiotherapy AI aims to use AI to improve radiotherapy cancer treatments all around the world. Built in partnership with Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, the technology has shown early success decreasing clinicians’ workload and saving patients’ lives.
  • TroBio Therapeutics is developing a novel cancer treatment that targets the architecture of the cancer cells and removes the toxicity of current chemotherapy treatments.

Cicada Innovations (www.cicadainnovations.com) is the home of deep tech in Australia. The Sydney-based incubator with a twenty-one year track record of developing deep tech ventures tackling some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Working at the forefront of innovation, it supports ventures seeking to create life-changing technology – applying cutting-edge science such as advanced materials, synthetic biology and AI to challenges like the future of human health, food security and the climate crisis.

Since inception, Cicada has seen an unprecedented $1.3 billion in exits from six deep tech ventures in the last two decades, and helped over 300 companies to raise more than $1.5 billion in funding. It has twice been awarded ‘Top Incubator in the World’ by InBIA, and delivered commercialisation training to thousands working in science & technology.

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