Victorians with a disability will be at the heart of a nation-first project designing high-tech solutions to everyday challenges, backed by the Victorian Government.
The new $9.15 million MedTechVic project at Swinburne University of Technology will push the boundaries of the medical technology sector by enveloping the needs of users and carers in the product design process.
The project will help improve the efficiency and affordability of the supply chain, using Australia’s first Microsoft AR/VR volumetric capture system to create tailored products in a mass production environment. Among the first projects is a locally-made lightweight, portable ramp attached to wheelchairs to increase a user’s mobility.
MedTechVic will support the digitisation of Victoria’s medical technology industry and encourage collaboration, including by providing fellowships for clinicians and allied health experts to participate in the manufacturing process.
The funding will support the refurbishment of a space at the Hawthorn campus, which will begin in November and be completed next year.
The project will create around 65 local jobs in medical technology, research and manufacturing, as well as 12 construction jobs and 21 roles for PhD, Masters and undergraduate students. Additional opportunities will be provided for students to undertake work placements in disability support.
The Government contributed $6.7 million to the project in a joint effort by Swinburne University and its partners. It is one of many pitches from universities to the Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund, which was developed in response to the significant impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the sector.
The Government’s unprecedented $350 million Victorian Higher Education State Investment Fund is supporting universities with capital works, research infrastructure projects and applied research focused on boosting Victoria’s productivity and economy as the state recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.
Quote attributable to Minister for Higher Education Gayle Tierney
“This is an incredible project that will have real outcomes for Victorians living with a disability, while also creating great opportunities for local researchers and students – and our thriving local construction industry.”
Quote attributable to Minister for Disability, Ageing and Carers Luke Donnellan
"Importantly, this project will put Victorians with disability at the centre of the design process, ensuring new technologies are designed around their needs."
Quote attributable to Member for Hawthorn John Kennedy
“This partnership strengthens the emerging technology sector here in Hawthorn – providing job and learning opportunities whilst making a practical difference in the lives of people living with a disability. “
Quote attributable to Swinburne University Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Pascale Quester
“At Swinburne we are uniquely placed to bring together the best aspects of design, digitisation and human needs to develop and deliver innovative devices to meet increasing global demand.”
Reviewed 10 September 2021