Medical devices network takes shape

By Daniella Goldberg
Friday, 01 March, 2002


A new network for the medical device industry is gearing up for launch.

The Medical Devices Network will make its official debut at a Sydney conference on March 13.

Dr Derrick Beech, convenor of the new network, said it would bring together medical innovators, researchers, clinicians, policy-makers, multinational corporations and financiers.

"We have the inventiveness in Australia but we need to provide a better framework in which [medical device] companies can develop their inventions for commercialisation," he said.

Australia currently imports up to 90 cent of its medical devices, he said.

"We will be providing training, skills, networking and a range of activities for the medical devices industry," Beech said of the new network.

It also aims to provide an independent voice for the medical device industry.

The conference at which the network will be launched is MeDIC II, (Medical Device Innovation Conference II), is the second conference about the commercialisation of medical devices. It takes place at Sydney's Carlton Crest Hotel on March 13-14.

"We are breaking new ground trying to be a vertical conference, encompassing the entire spectrum of people involved in the process so they can all find the sources they need, from clinicians to manufacturers to innovators," Beech said.

The two-day conference will cover issues and trends in intellectual property, negotiation of venture capital and funding, as well as case studies from medical device companies.

Dr Klaus Schindhelm, senior vice-president of operations at ResMed, is one of the invited speakers. Another is Dr Peter Spencer, medical device research manager at Johnson and Johnson Research. Up to 150 delegates are expected to attend.

The conference is endorsed by AusBiotech. Dr Shanny Dyer, chair of the AusBiotech's NSW branch, said that medical devices were an important part of the biotechnology sector, and the association was keen to participate.

"In the future, medical devices and biology will converge with a new generation of products that will be of vital significance to the biotechnology industry," Dyer said.

The use of medical devices for drug delivering drug was one example, she said. Incorporation of novel surfaces on devices to create better quality implants was another.

For more information about the Medical Devices Network, contact Dr Derrick Beech on (02) 9552 2229, or e-mail to dbeech@ozemail.com.au

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