We’d like you to meet Tim Kannegieter from NSW Active MedTech Community, member of the Venture Café Sydney community.
Tim organized the launch of the NSW Active MedTech community at Venture Café Sydney, organized and sponsored by a MedTech product designer called Genesys Electronics Design and MedTech contract manufacturer called Circuitwise Electronics Manufacturer.
The community aims to make it easier for entrepreneurs to develop medical devices with electronics hardware and software.
As a result of the MedTech Hypothetical at Venture Café Sydney, Tim was able to bring together MedTech experts from all corners of Australia to hypothetically brainstorm what it would take to develop an automatic ventilator from scratch in just a few months.
One connection established from this meeting resulted in Circuitwise joining a consortium of Australian companies led by Grey Innovation which won a $31 million contract from the Australian government to manufacture 2000 emergency ventilators.
Learn more on nswactivemedtech.com.au
Just one month after the launch of a new community in Australia aimed at making it easier for entrepreneurs to develop medical devices with electronics hardware and software, the Covid19 pandemic swept across the world.
Focused on the largest state in Australia, the NSW Active MedTech community had been launched at Venture Café Sydney, which offered to host the fledgling community’s quarterly face-to-face meetings. The community is organised and sponsored by a MedTech product designer called Genesys Electronics Design and MedTech contract manufacturer called Circuitwise Electronics Manufacturer.
The launch meeting followed a format called MedTech Hypotheticals, where a hypothetical case study was presented with a panel of experts commenting on how they would successfully develop the product. The first quarterly meeting in April had to go online due to lockdown. After some quick brainstorming, we decided to take the meeting online, again with Venture Café’s support.
The topic chosen was the emergency development of ventilators, which was a hot topic world-wide at that very moment. Little did we know the event would attract the attention of many people who enthusiastically participated, not quite realising the hypothetical nature of the exercise.
With dozens of companies in Australia, and many more globally, already developing ventilators to meet the expected peak demand, we resisted the temptation to turn our hypothetical design into a real product. However, at least one connection established in the meeting resulted in Circuitwise joining a consortium of Australian companies led by Grey Innovation which won a $31 million contract from the Australian government to manufacture 2000 emergency ventilators.
Circuitiwise manufactured the printed circuit board assemblies for the NOTUS Emergency Invasive Ventilator Program, which has just produced its first ventilator. Circuitwise’s participation was featured in several print publications and on the evening news bulletin of Australia’s national television broadcaster, the ABC.
While these efforts have avoided the need for these ventilators in the immediate future, Australia is now well-positioned to deal with any second wave and support less fortunate countries in the Asia Pacific region that do not have as well developed a MedTech product development ecosystem.
One particularly important outcome of this whole experience has been a growing desire among Australian entrepreneurs to build a more robust local manufacturing capability. This has been driven by a realisation of how vulnerable Australia is to disruptions in global supply chains. Circuitwise has been at the forefront of a call to “re-shore” manufacturing to Australia and has been fielding many such inquires, partly driven by the publicity it received on the ventilator project.
The mission of the NSW Active MedTech Community is to save and improve lives by making it easier for entrepreneurs to develop hardware-oriented MedTech products. The community welcomes the support of Venture Café and will continue to work together as the community develops.
For more information on the ventilator project Circuitwise is involved in, visit https://www.circuitwise.com.au/post/circuitwise-joins-emergency-ventilator-team. For more information on the community visit https://www.nswactivemedtech.com.au/.