Melbourne, May 9: The Andrews Government today announced two new agreements to further strengthen Victoria’s reputable medical technology sector and help address major health challenges in India.

Medical technology and pharmaceuticals sector in Victoria currently generates $12 billion annually, including $1.98 billion in exports.

As part of the government’s ongoing support to the sector – one of six key growth industries to drive jobs in Victoria, Swinburne University was part of the Victoria trade mission to India last week.

During the government-led Neuroscience Victoria trade mission, the University signed two memorandums of understanding to partner with major Indian healthcare providers to tackle some of the country’s biggest clinical problems.

Neuroscience leaders from Swinburne signed one agreement with Medanta, one of India’s largest private hospitals, on a project to improve the diagnosis of epilepsy across India.

The project will develop products and technologies that can be used to help diagnose epilepsy in villages and remote communities across the sprawling nation, using technology to help local health workers make early diagnosis and refer patients quickly for treatment in urban centres.

Swinburne also signed a memorandum of understanding with the prestigious All India Institute of Medical Sciences to develop a cutting edge ‘smart helmet’ – to reduce incidence of head injuries for motorcyclists.

Two thirds of road vehicles in India are two-wheelers and tens of thousands of people die on India’s roads every year with many more suffering injury and trauma.

The ‘smart helmet’ is designed to be light-weight and incorporate technology to address the issues that currently discourage people from wearing helmets.

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy said that the government is “determined to capitalise on the export, investment and job creating potential of Victoria’s medical research and technology sector”.

She said that “further strengthening our relationship with India will help us achieve that.”

These breakthrough agreements demonstrate the world-leading expertise being generated from Victoria’s renowned medical research institutes with technological advances that are adding real public value across the world.

Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis congratulated Swinburne on signing of the new agreements, saying it was “a great example of the opportunities that our targeted trade missions are providing Victorian companies to take their expertise to the world… (and) creating jobs here at home.”

Professor Ajay Kapoor and his team credited with Australia's first electric bus
Professor Ajay Kapoor and his team credited with Australia’s first electric bus

Professor Ajay Kapoor, Pro-Vice Chancellor Swinburne University of Technology talking of “incredible opportunities for Victorian doctors, scientists and researchers to work with their counterparts in India” said that Swinburne was leading the way with breakthroughs to deliver significant health benefits to the community.

Prof Kapoor is also credited to have headed the Swinburne Uni team that designed, engineered and manufactured Australia’s first Electric Bus.

Swinburne has long been a leader in the development of electric vehicle technology and has a dedicated Electric Vehicle Research Group.

Last month, Swinburne Uni had called for the Federal Government to support the uptake of electric vehicles to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality.

Shalini Singh

feature image: Swinburne partnerships during a trade mission to India, with representatives from the Vic Government and Austrade

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