Victorian Innovation Improves Baby Nutrition

03 February 2016

A specially designed baby bottle teat that significantly improves a baby’s nutrition intake will be launched for commercial sale after a successful trial at the Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH), the Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade, Philip Dalidakis announced today.

The government supported Specialised Infant Feeding Teat was designed and manufactured in Victoria through a collaboration between the Royal Children’s Hospital, APS Innovations and manufacturing company, Sepal.

It was specifically developed for use by the RCH in response to issues they were experiencing with commercially available teats, particularly in regard to the flow rate and in newborns experiencing feeding difficulties.

The teat has been designed to follow the natural shape of a baby's mouth, allowing babies to suck without the need to stop feeding to draw breath. This solves traditional issues with flow consistency and leaking collars, making a critical improvement to a baby’s nutrition intake.

Located in Knoxfield in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs, Sepal’s dedicated manufacturing facility produces over 4,000 baby bottle teats per week for the RCH, meeting the feeding needs of around 100 babies per day.

Mr Dalidakis said the strength of the state’s reputable medical research organisations and manufacturing expertise means Victoria is world leading in our innovative solutions to healthcare problems.

Victoria’s medical technologies and pharmaceuticals sector currently employs more than 20,000 people and generates more than $10 billion revenue, largely in global markets.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis

“With over 150 biotech companies, 10 major medical research institutes, 10 teaching hospitals and nine universities here in Victoria, we are certainly leading the nation – if not the world – when it comes to medical research and innovation.”

“This announcement is a great example of a bright idea being turned into a commercial reality – resulting in better treatment and health outcomes for all Victorians.”

Quotes attributable to Royal Children’s Hospital Director of Allied Health Bernadette O’Connor

“Teats had been an ongoing problem for our nursing, nutrition, and speech pathology teams in the past because of limitations in sizes available. Regardless of the flow rate noted on the teat, actual flow rates were unreliable.”

“The Sepal teats feature reliable flow, appropriate sizing and adequate venting meaning we’re much better able to manage our patients’ nutritional and clinical needs.”

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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