Prof Maria Forsyth awarded 2021 RH Stokes Medal
Nov 30 2021
This prestigious award is sponsored by the Menzies Foundation and MedTech Actuator, with the aim of the program to support new leaders, drive strong and lasting entrepreneurship training, ecosystem connections and exchange.
The 12-month fellowship, valued at $70,000, includes tailored mentoring from commercialisation experts, income support and access to the MedTech ActuatorTM – Asia Pacific’s MedTech, BioTech and HealthTech accelerator.
We caught up with A/Prof Crook to find out more about the Fellowship.
How did this opportunity come about?
I have a background in industry and a longstanding interest in medtech commercialisation and am subscribed for updates from the MedTech Actuator. I received an email alerting me to the opportunity. Given the need to increase my commercialisation focus to translate our research, I decided the time was right to apply.
My initial written application led to being short-listed for an interview where I was required to present a 10-minute pitch followed by 10 minutes of Q&A from the selection board. I was subsequently selected to receive one of the two available Fellowships.
The work began as merely an idea, conceived only three years ago by myself and my team member Dr Eva Tomaskovic-Crook. It has since been progressed through several undergraduate and HDR student projects into a bone fide research tool. We’re now ready to take the next step towards a clinically useful medical technology.
How do you plan on utilising the fellowship?
The timing of the Fellowship couldn’t be better. It is an opportunity for me to learn from leading experts in MedTech commercialisation, as well as connect with others in the broader ecosystem. By increasing our commercialisation focus now, I hope to accelerate translation to be ‘first cab-off-the-rank’ so to speak, in the form of a world-first wireless electric nerve-guide for peripheral nerve repair.
How will this help progress your current research and work?
The Fellowship will be important to achieving my aspirations to translate our research on ‘3D electric tissue engineering’ to healthcare outcomes. The original proof-of-concept work was recently awarded the inaugural Research Australia 2019 Health and Medical Research Frontiers Research Award and has progressed to a more advanced proprietary ‘next-generation’ multifunctional electrostimulation platform.
More generally, I’m eager to better understand what it will take to progress a medical technology innovation, through to commercialisation and onto the market. By doing so, I’ll be better placed to develop and direct both my fundamental and applied research for translational opportunities that have positive real-world impact.
Thanks for your time and once again, congratulations.
Read more about MedTech Actuator Menzies Fellowship here.