About the program

The Stanford SPARK program is an innovative, proven model for accelerating translational research, bridging the gap between academia and industry


SPARK Melbourne is a university and industry partnership program that supports our researchers in their efforts to translate their research discoveries into therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices that benefit patients.

Sponsored by the University of Melbourne and Accelerating Australia, SPARK Melbourne teams up our researchers with industry experts – providing access to specialised knowledge, technical expertise and sources of funding to support translational efforts.

SPARK Melbourne’s priorities are to support our researchers in their bench-to-bedside efforts, to increase the success rate of grant applications related to translational research (e.g. NHMRC Development Grants and ARC Linkage grants) and to drive further engagement between academia and the biotech/medtech industries both nationally and internationally.

SPARK Melbourne is co-directed by the Faculty’s Associate Dean Innovation and Enterprise Professor Darren Kelly and clinician-scientist Associate Professor Lauren Ayton, both of whom have extensive experience in research translation and commercialisation.

SPARK Melbourne is modelled on the original SPARK program at Stanford University Medical School, founded by Professor Daria Mochly-Rosen in 2006, which has since spread to more than 75 academic institutions in 23 countries worldwide.