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.

BioDesign Video (Dec 2020)


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:

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.

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

Year 2017- 2019

In 2017 – 2019, the BioDesign course was led by Professors David Grayden and Michael Vitale.

The 2017 cohort and 2018 cohort consisted of five teams each. The 2019 cohort had four teams.

Year 2020-2022

In 2020, we revised the BioDesign course and relaunched it. The teaching team consisted of David Grayden, Kwanghui Lim and Simon Wilkins. The 2020 cohort consisted of four teams.

In 2021, the teaching team again consisted of David Grayden, Kwanghui Lim and Simon Wilkins. The cohort had six teams.

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.

The teaching team in 2021
The teaching team in 2021: Simon Wilkins, Kwanghui Lim, David Grayden.

In 2022, David Grayden, Kwanghui Lim and Simon Wilkins formed the teaching team. The cohort had seven teams.

David and Kwang were invited to join the Steering Committee of BioDesign Australia in 2022.