FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sydney, Australia (14 September 2023): IDE Group, an entrepreneurial commercialisation company that develops medical products and builds market-leading medtech businesses, is thrilled to announce Restorabite and Plio Surgical as the winners of the highly-anticipated Building Better Futures for Health (BBFH) Challenge 2023.
The awards ceremony, held at the iconic Powerhouse Museum on 13th September, brought together a dynamic community of healthcare visionaries, startups, researchers, and industry experts. This year's BBFH Challenge showcased an impressive array of medical innovations from Australia, the United States, and Europe, addressing critical healthcare challenges in surgical oncology, interventional medicine, chronic care, and rehabilitation.
Restorabite was crowned the winner of the BBFH Challenge 2023, securing the coveted first prize of $30,000. Designed to restore the vital jaw functionality after complex head and neck cancer treatments and surgery, Restorabite is poised to enhance the patient rehabilitation journey. As a 3D-printed medical device, it combines affordability, portability, and telehealth compatibility.
Accepting the award, Dr Emma Charters, a speech pathologist with Integrated Prosthetics & Reconstruction in Sydney and a member of the Restorabite team expressed her appreciation, stating “The BBFH application process has already provided us invaluable support, including the opportunity to pitch our idea, receive invaluable guidance from an exceptional team and connect with individuals who share our passion for improving the future of healthcare. On behalf of our team at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, we extend our gratitude for your support in developing our commercialisation pathway so we can reach more people quickly.”
Plio Surgical, a spin-out of Trinity College Dublin in Ireland, emerged as the recipient of the People's Choice Award, entailing $10,000 in IDE Group services. The company is developing an innovative solution in colon cancer surgery to mitigate anastomotic leakage, a severe complication of cancer resection.
“We are delighted to receive this recognition in advancing our mission to transform gastrointestinal care and the lives of patients undergoing surgical resection. While we acknowledge the significant work that lies ahead, we are profoundly grateful for IDE Group’s invaluable support in helping us realise our goal. We also extend our heartfelt appreciation to Trinity College Dublin and Enterprise Ireland for their continued support on this transformative journey,” commented Gareth Gallagher, Chief Technology Officer of Plio Surgical.
This year's BBFH Challenge winners will further benefit from an exclusive IDE Building Blocks Workshop, where a tailored commercial strategy will be developed to propel their ventures forward, ensuring they reach their full potential in the healthcare industry.
George Sidis, Managing Director of IDE Group, reflected on the resounding success of BBFH Challenge 2023. He said "This year witnessed the largest competition we have ever hosted to date. We are grateful to have received applications from over 30 medtech ventures eager to collaborate with us to Build Better Futures for Health. I extend my heartfelt congratulations to Restorabite and Plio Surgical, and eagerly anticipate commencing our work together on your commercialisation journey. The addition of our first winner from Europe marks a significant milestone for BBFH as IDE Group continues to expand its footprint in overseas markets.”
Dr Charters offered her advice to healthcare startups navigating the challenging path to commercialisation. “Familiarise yourself thoroughly with the problem at hand. Understanding the need for a solution and the extent of previous attempts to address it is paramount. Furthermore, assemble a great team; it makes the late nights, hectic schedules and a seemingly insurmountable task all the more achievable,” Dr Charters emphasised.
Mr Gallagher added his insights, commenting “Within the extensive spectrum of skills necessary for medtech enterprise success, my advice is to actively seek mentorship and robust support networks.”
Mr Sidis concluded by extending his gratitude to all participants for their exceptional presentations and expressed his eagerness to forge partnerships with them in the coming months.
About the Building Better Futures for Health (BBFH) Challenge:
Each year medical entrepreneurs, startups, researchers and industry professionals worldwide are invited to apply for the Building Better Futures for Health (BBFH) Challenge. The winners receive up to $40,000 in entrepreneurial, commercialisation and medical technology development support from IDE Group, bringing your idea to life and kick-starting our journey together to commercialisation.
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