Clinical entrepreneur program set to drive clinician-led innovation

A program designed to develop entrepreneurial skills and networks of Australia’s healthcare professionals to advance clinician-led innovation launched across the country last night.

Administered by The University of Melbourne and The University of Western Australia, the Australian Clinical Entrepreneur Program (AUSCEP) will be an enabler of innovation.

It aims to accelerate ideas that have the potential to change healthcare for the benefit of patients, staff and the broader health system in any area such as digital health, medical devices, service delivery improvements, new ground-breaking treatments or diagnostics.

Inspired by the successful UK NHS Clinical Entrepreneur Programme, AUSCEP is co-designed and delivered by established clinical entrepreneurs providing participants with lived experience and access to valuable clinical networks.

AUSCEP Chief Clinical Entrepreneur Dr Brandon Carp said at the launch: “Clinicians are uniquely placed to identify problems, see opportunities and understand how best to navigate the health landscape to create solutions - but introducing solutions is difficult without first having the knowledge, networks and experience. That is where the program can have the most impact.”

The program acts both as a personal development program for clinicians by developing their commercial skills, as well as an accelerator to test and scale ideas.

“AUSCEP will upskill clinicians through an eight pit stop program that includes defining the problem, refining the solution, building a team and raising capital,” Dr Carp said.

By developing the commercial skills, knowledge and networks of clinicians not often taught in medical training, it is hoped the program will remove the barriers associated with developing and scaling innovation in Australia's healthcare system.

Professor John Prins, Head of the Melbourne Medical School and AUSCEP Executive Sponsor, said the first-of-its-kind program in Australia will be a game changer.

“Looking back at my own clinical entrepreneurial experience, I could have grown more efficiently had I not made common and simple mistakes along the way,” Professor Prins said.

“This program will make it easier for the next generation of clinical entrepreneurs because they will be connected to clinicians who have the experience. They can share learnings, build the commercial knowledge and make the right connections needed to bring innovation to the Australian healthcare system.”

The two-year pilot will be run in three states; Victoria, NSW and Western Australia and has dedicated clinical leads representing each state.

WA-based AUSCEP Co-Clinical Lead Dr Carlo Bellini, said

“We are incredibly pleased to launch the Australian Clinical Entrepreneur Program. The quality of applicants is testament to the talent we have in Australia – healthcare professionals who are passionate about innovating healthcare and improving patient outcomes.”

NSW-based AUSCEP Co-Clinical Lead Dr Amandeep Hansra, said

“We are thrilled with the diversity of innovations and ideas that have emerged from the applications received. It demonstrates there are ideas and innovations out there, but there are still real barriers hindering development and adoption. We are going to change that by boosting the skills of the healthcare workforce to make lasting impact”.

Ongoing coaching and mentoring with experienced clinical entrepreneurs are part of the 12-month program as well as access to extensive hospital and industry networks both in Australia and internationally. If the pilot is a success, it will be rolled out nationally.

AUSCEP is a pilot project funded by MTPConnect’s $32 million Researcher Exchange and Development within Industry (REDI) initiative made possible by the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF). It provides industry experiences and skills development for researchers, clinicians, innovators and medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) professionals to develop an industry ready workforce keeping pace with the demands of a rapidly changing sector.

MTPConnect was established in 2015 as an independent, not-for-profit organisation, and is Australia’s Growth Centre for the medical technologies, biotechnologies, and pharmaceuticals (MTP) sector, championing the growth of Australia’s vibrant MTP ecosystem.

More Information

Alex White

+61 488 990 212