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New funding brings medical discovery to life

Posted: 12th May 2022

SVI is excited to have secured a $2.5 million grant through The Ian Potter Foundation to support the Aikenhead Centre for Medical ​Discovery (ACMD). SVI is one of nine partners in the ACMD, a new centre that will accelerate bio-engineering medical solutions for people living with disease, and position Australia as a leader within a rapidly evolving global industry.

Delivered over the next five years, this new funding will help bring the ACMD project to life – supporting people, programs and equipment – as the physical building moves closer to its expected completion in 2024.

“Building research relationships and networks, both among the partners and more broadly, is central to the ACMD model,” said SVI Director, Professor Tom Kay. “It is vital that we support these new ways of working, in parallel with constructing a building in which they can thrive.”

“Key to the ACMD model are multidisciplinary teams with more diverse skill sets than are the norm for medical research institutions, working together on problems defined by clinicians, patients and healthtech companies.”

The new funding from The Ian Potter Foundation will support the implementation of specialist equipment, including shared technology and training initiatives, as well as development of translational capacity through research commercialisation and quality assurance programs – fundamental elements in the Centre’s collaborative, multidisciplinary culture of knowledge exchange.

ACMD CEO Dr Erol Harvey says: “Australia continues to produce high-quality medical research, but outputs - in the form of products, services, and economic benefits to the economy - fall short. ACMD provides a solution to this problem: it will be a different type of research organisation that will enable multi-disciplinary teams, with more diverse skill sets than are normal in medical research institutions, to come together to work on problems defined by clinicians, patients and healthtech companies.”

“We are enormously excited by the opportunities offered by this support from The Ian Potter Foundation, which bolsters a $2.5 million grant made by the Foundation in 2016. This new support will enable the nine ACMD partners to forge the unique ethos needed to foster and accelerate bio-engineering solutions for better medical care.”

ACMD will bring together nine partner organisations under the one roof to work collaboratively on medical research – St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne, St Vincent’s Institute of Medical Research, the Bionics Institute, Centre for Eye Research, The University of Melbourne, RMIT, Swinburne University of Technology, Australian Catholic University and the University of Wollongong.