Qld launches medical devices manufacturing research hub

ARC CEO, Prof. Sue Thomas (second from right) officially launches the ARC Research Hub for the Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices (AMMD Research HUb) with Director of the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre Michael Grogan, Member for Sunnybank Peter Russo, AMMD Research Hub director Prof. Matthew Dargusch, Cook Medical Australia General Manager Dr. Samih Nabulsi, Director – Asia Pacific, VP Cook Incorporated Barry Thomas and UQ vice-chancellor and president Prof. Peter Høj.

The Australian Research Council (ARC) Research Hub for the Advanced Manufacturing of Medical Devices (AMMD Research Hub) was launched today at Cook Medical Australia in Brisbane.

Cook Medical Australia along with the University of Queensland and other hub partners is investing significant resources into the national collaboration.

In total, the collaboration includes over $10 million of cash and in-kind funding, including a $2.8 million contribution over five years from the Australian Government through the ARC’s Industrial Transformation Research Hubs scheme.

“The AMMD Research Hub will focus on the development of advanced materials and improvement of manufacturing technology and capabilities,” ARC’s CEO, Professor Sue Thomas said.

“The project will help ensure the global competitiveness of Australia’s annual $10.8 billion medical technology industry,” she added.

The University of Queensland vice-chancellor and president Professor Peter Høj said a key goal for the hub was to create better health outcomes for patients in Australia and around the globe.

“One of the intended outcomes is to reduce the time it takes to design, manufacture and supply custom-made medical devices such as endovascular stent grafts for patients with aortic aneurysm – an increasingly common condition that currently has post-rupture survival rates of only 10 to 20 per cent,” the professor said.

General manager of Cook Medical Australia, Dr Samih Nabulsi, believes the AMMD Research Hub will make a significant contribution to the medical device industry in Australia and has the potential to increase export opportunities for the IP derived from manufacturing process improvements, while simultaneously improving patient outcomes.

“The AMMD Research Hub will result in increased growth opportunities for the sector which, in turn, translates into more jobs and increased global market share for Australian manufactured medical technologies.”

A number of research projects are already under way across lean manufacturing, design and materials, adaptive automation systems, digitisation, metallic biomaterials, ergonomics and collaborative robotics. The model includes embedding and integrating the research teams into industry facilities, some of which are already achieving positive results for improving productively and pre-manufacturing processes.

The AMMD Research Hub brings together researchers from the University of Queensland, the University of the Sunshine Coast, the University of Sydney, RMIT, with industry partners including Cook Medical Australia