Biodesign Innovation is a postgraduate unit at the University of Melbourne. Over a nine-month period, teams of students from the Masters of Business Administration program and Masters of Engineering program collaborate with hospital clinicians to design medical devices to meet important clinical needs.
The unit covers two semesters within an academic year (February to October). It is composed of lectures, practical training, and a guided project. The first semester focuses on identifying clinical needs, brainstorming, and concept creation. The second semester focuses on concept development and business implementation. Each student team conceives of and designs an innovative medical device, taking it through all steps of development.
Inspired by other programs including at Stanford and Hebrew University Jerusalem, Biodesign Melbourne was designed to be inter-disciplinary and hands-on at its core. It is a collaboration of the Faculty of Engineering and IT and Melbourne Business School, and receives strong support from partners including:
- Leading hospitals and life science research groups in Melbourne.
- Melbourne Accelerator Program
- Unimelb TRaM program (Translating Research at Melbourne)
- Wade Institute of Entrepreneurship
- Melbourne Connect
- Industry guest speakers.
A number of our distinguished speakers are from these partner organisations, and students work hands-on with clinicians from partner hospitals. Several of our students are actively involved with STEMBEA.
History and acknowledgments
Launch in 2016
Biodesign Melbourne was launched in 2016. The inaugural course was co-taught by David Grayden (Professor in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering) and Kwanghui Lim (Associate Professor, Melbourne Business School and Co-Director, IP Research Institute of Australia).
Key to the formation of Biodesign Melbourne was the support from the team at Biodesign Israel, Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Professor Chain Lotan and Professor Dan Galai, members of the founding team members at Biodesign Israel, both visited Melbourne in 2016 as guests speakers and provided valuable advice. Professor Leon Mann was crucial in developing this relationship. We acknowledge support from the Pratt Foundation for sponsoring the Research Leadership Dinners and other activities. We thank MBS alumnus Ian Kirk for his gift to support the Biodesign program 2016-2019. Professor Jim Frederickson (Deputy Dean) facilitated curriculum development and program launch for the business school. Ash Ravikumar (Commercialisation Services Manager, Engineering) led the development of an intellectual property framework for class.
The initial cohort consisted of 22 students working in 5 teams.
Here is a summary of the 2016 cohort’s experiences and achievements.
Year 2017- 2019
In 2017 – 2019, the BioDesign course was led by Professors David Grayden and Michael Vitale.
In 2021 we were the proud recipients of the Norman Curry Award for Innovation and Excellence in Educational Programs. The Norman Curry Award is only one of five University-level Teaching Excellent awards and we are really honoured to receive it.
In addition, in late 2020 we were named one of three finalists for the Excellence in Student Engagement Award by Engagement Australia.