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Deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations is helping NSW Health ramp up biotech commercialisation

- July 6, 2021 2 MIN READ
SpeeDx labs
SpeedX scientists working at their labs at Cicada Innovations Photo: Michael Amendolia
The NSW government’s health department has turned once again to deep tech incubator Cicada Innovations to deliver a free training program to help aspiring biotech and medtech entrepreneurs and academics commercialise their ideas.

The NSW Health Commercialisation Training Program aims to fast-track innovative ideas that will revolutionise the healthcare sector, improve patient outcomes, and provide economic opportunities for emerging medtech businesses.

Cicada previously delivered the NSW Health Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program, which resulted  “bone glue” venture Tetratherix, and Beyond 700’s tear film, which being used by NASA.

Tetratherix co-founder Ali Fathi, who took part in the earlier program in 2014, said he wanted to continue his PhD project and see it through to commercialisation.

“The Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program taught me how to engage end users to finely tune the technology in order to be able to address unmet clinical needs,” he said.

“The support I have received from NSW Health and Cicada Innovation through this program has been pivotal to my commercialisation journey.”

That program produced 96 core program graduates – around 10% of the attendees – who created 19 companies, and raised over $77 million in funding over six years.

Building a roadmap

Recruitment for the new commercialisation training program is now underway. It’s seeking entrepreneurial people ranging from medical device technologists to clinicians, postdoctoral researchers, and medtech and biotech founders.

The program will be repeated annually over four years, with those involved able to progress at their own pace via online and in person delivery.

The goal for participants is to have developed a commercialisation path from idea validation to customer identification, stakeholder engagement, and a roadmap to market. To help they’ll have deep and valuable connections with the NSW health ecosystem.

Dr. Dharmica Mistry, Cicada’s head of medtech and biotech said they were committed to building a collaborative innovation ecosystem in NSW.

“It takes a wide breadth of expertise and know-how to set fledgling entrepreneurs up for success as they look to commercialise their technologies, and we believe this is the exact skillset that Cicada Innovations brings,” she said.

“It takes years for these innovations to come to market and have an impact. We look forward to fostering collaboration across the medtech and biotech ecosystem, and delivering multifaceted and impactful support to these innovators who are paving the way for the future of healthcare.”

Among the organisations assisting with the program delivery are ANDHealth, Australia’s leading provider of accelerator, incubator and commercialisation programs for digital health technology companies, and Cicada incubatee SpeeDx, a medical diagnostic company currently expanding globally.

Details on applying for the NSW Health Commercialisation Training Program are available here.