Incubator opens $50m funding round to focus the mind

A national BioTech incubator backed by the Medical Research Future Fund has launched its first funding round for innovative health technologies that promise to improve the lives of people with dementia.

Expressions of interest for the CUREator+ Dementia and Cognitive Decline incubator program open on Wednesday, with up to $5 million per project on offer to entrepreneurial researchers, clinical innovators and founders in Australia.

The program, run by digital health accelerator ANDHealth and biomedical commercialisation fund Brandon BioCatalyst, was funded with $50 million over five years in February to build on the success of the original CUREator+ BioMedTech incubator program.


The new funding is being provided through the Medical Research Future Fund as part of a wider $230 million investment by the federal government in research projects ranging from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases to mental health.

Like the original BioMedTech incubator program, the new funding round will issue grants to small to medium-sized businesses working on early-stage medical research and medical innovation projects.

But, according to Brandon BioCatalyst co-founder and CEO Chris Nave, the new program has been tailored to expedite the “groundbreaking research” of Australia’s neuroscience researchers and put it in the “hands of those who need it most”.

It aims to support the development of assistive devices, digital technology approaches and products, novel biomarkers, diagnostics and therapeutics for the 421,000 Australians with dementia and their 1.6 million caregivers.

“Significant advances in technology offer us new ways to diagnose, treat and support those living with dementia and cognitive decline,” ANDHealth chief executive and managing director Bronwyn Le Grice said.

“From the development and application of artificial intelligence-based solutions to digitally-enabled, transformative models of care, this program will provide critical support to a new generation of connected health technologies.”

Funding will be delivered in tranches “tied to mutually agreed-upon milestones”, ANDHealth and Brandon BioCatalyst said, with the grant recipients given up to four years to complete the project and be ‘investor ready’.

EoI submissions will be open until July 4, with shortlisted applicants to be notified from late-August. It is unclear when the initial tranche of between $1-$2.5 million in funding will be made available to successful recipients.

The BioMedTech incubator program, which is broader than the dementia-focused program, opened to applications in August, but is yet to announced the successful list of projects.

In May, the second round of the CUREator program committed $12 million across 19 firms. A formal announcement of the successful firms under round three of the program will be made by the end of the first quarter of 2024.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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