Tailored programs to support growth of Victoria’s medtech capabilities


Pictured above (L to R): Professor Andrea O’Connor and Dr Erol Harvey

The first training courses and internship placements offered as part of the Aikenhead Centre for Medical Discovery (ACMD) Academy program have commenced, with up to five new short courses planned for release before the end of the year and more scheduled to roll out in 2024. 

The courses aim to boost medtech skills capability in Victoria and are being developed by the Victorian Medtech Skills and Devices Hub – a consortium led by University of Melbourne and including the ACMD, Swinburne University of Technology and RMIT University. 

The Hub will eventually be housed in the new ACMD building under construction at St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne.

The ACMD Academy and ACMD Navigator programs form part of the Hub’s offerings. Together, they address skills gaps restricting medtech sector growth and will help both emerging and larger companies navigate the various challenges in commercial development.

Within four years, the ACMD Academy consortium partners will offer up to 1000 industry-aligned medtech education and training places per year. Training courses under development cover vital functions including manufacturing, commercialisation and regulatory requirements for medtech products. The ACMD Academy will also foster student internships with industry, providing valuable work-integrated learning opportunities for future professionals.

It is expected that by its fifth year of operation, the Hub will be supporting the creation of up to a dozen investment-ready Victorian start-ups a year.

“Australia has an international reputation for high-quality medical device manufacture that is reliant on a highly skilled workforce. This new education hub addresses a shortage of workers who have an understanding of quality management systems used to make products that conform to the highest standards required by international regulators.” said Dr Erol Harvey, CEO of the ACMD.

The Hub will train students at various levels, from vocational (VET) to postgraduate (PhD), and is available for people at all stages of their career including school leavers to up-skilling and re-skilling experienced workers.

“The training and courses the Hub will provide perfectly complement and support the research and activities that are being undertaken by the ACMD and our partners,” said Dr Harvey.

Professor Andrea O’Connor, Co-Director of the Victorian Medtech Skills and Devices Hub, and ACMD Shanahan Chair in Frontier Medical Solutions, said developing training courses in collaboration with industry was essential in helping to build “a pipeline of work-ready employees in Victoria for Victorian businesses”.

Hands-on experience

Practical training will soon be delivered through the ACMD FabHub facility, which is currently being developed. It, too, will be located within the new ACMD building and will enable training under conditions that resemble regulated working manufacturing environments.

“Having a training hub for manufacturing makes sure that innovative products can be made to the highest international standards required for export sales,” said Dr Harvey.

“Without access to a trained and experienced pool of workers. Businesses must embark on the training themselves. This increases the cost and time required to bring new products to the market, which is particularly difficult for young start-up companies.”


Pictured above: Artist’s impression of new ACMD building