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.


Unit scope

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 School of Engineering and Melbourne Business School, and receives strong support from partners including:

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.

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A TRaM team discusses their project with our Biodesign class

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.

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Kwanghui Lim, Michael Vitale and David Grayden at a course planning meeting with Dan Galai (co-founder of Biodesign Israel).

Year 2017

In 2017 and 2018, Biodesign is being taught by Professors David Grayden and Michael Vitale.

The 2017 cohort consists of five teams.