Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program (MDCTP)


The Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program (MDCTP) is an initiative of NSW Health, delivered by world leading advanced technology incubator Cicada Innovations. The program is designed to accelerate commercialisation of medical technologies in NSW to bring lifesaving healthcare innovations to patients, hospitals and governments around the world.

There are three courses available as part of the MDCTP to meet the needs of medical technologists at different stages of their journey that build upon each other; Ignition IP, Ignition Health and Ignition CORE (flagship course).


Ignition CORE (flagship course)

The Medical Device Commercialisation Training Program’s flagship course, Ignition CORE, empowers candidates on how to structure a startup and guides clinicians and researchers through the complexities of translating their technology from bench-top to market. The course is based on Lean Launchpad® methodologies and involves both the ‘search’ for the right business model via weekly customer interviews plus the ‘structural’ of aspects critical to medical device commercialisation.  Elements covered in the course include Customer Discovery, Intellectual Property, Regulatory Affairs, Reimbursement, Financial Modelling, Valuation, Capital Raising, Business Governance, Pitch Crafting, and Negotiation and Influence.

Ignition CORE candidates will be required to attend one full day per week for 12 weeks, plus dedicate an additional 20 hours per week for customer interviews and homework.

Promising candidates may be awarded overseas educational scholarships, international travel grants, intellectual property strategy assistance, product development assistance and regulatory pathway advice, which is awarded at the annual NSW Medical Device Showcase.  Graduates of the CORE Program have raised nearly $20M to commercialise their ideas since 2014.

The application process for Ignition CORE is competitive and requires applicants to have demonstrated actions in medical device commercialisation and must own or have rights to access novel intellectual propertyApplicants must also be either a NSW based clinician, final year PhD student, post-doctoral researcher, or academic researcher. Candidates are subject to a competitive screening process including compulsory interviews. The maximum cohort size is 20 per year.

Applications for Ignition CORE 2017 are now closed.

Register your interest for Ignition CORE 2018 below.


Ignition Health

Ignition Health is a half-day training course for 12 weeks for researchers, clinicians and graduates interested in creating maximum impact through their medical technology or research. The course guides candidates through customer discovery in the “search” for the correct business model to achieve social, health and economic impact in the global marketplace. Ignition Health is based on Lean LaunchPad® methodology – based on the ‘search’ for the right business model using experimentation; getting out of the classroom and talking to customers, partners and competitors. The course goes beyond static case studies or fixed models and challenges candidates to create their own business models based on information derived from personal engagement rather than second hand market research.

Ignition Health 2017 is provided at no cost to participants or their institution.

Eligibility for Ignition Health requires applicants to either be a NSW based clinician, researcher or graduate interested in creating impact through their medical technology or research. Applicants need to commit to the half-day course for 12 weeks plus up to 10 hours of homework each week. Applicants do not need their own intellectual property.

Course Expectations and Culture

Developed by Jerry Engel and Steve Blank, Lean LaunchPad® (LLP) has been taught at Stanford, Berkeley, Columbia, UCSF and was adopted by the National Science Foundation to increase the economic impact of research. It emphasises experiential learning, a flipped classroom and immediate feedback as a way to engage candidates with real world entrepreneurship. Lean LaunchPad® has a strong focus on the SEARCH for the correct business model. This involves experimentation; getting out of the classroom and talking to customers, partners and competitors.

Getting out of the lab/building is what the SEARCH effort is about. It’s not about the lectures. You will be spending a significant amount of time in between each of the lectures outside the lab/hospital talking to customers and testing your hypotheses. If candidates can’t commit the time to talk to customers, then this course is not for them.

Startups communicate very differently to communication inside a university, lab or hospital. It is dramatically different from the university or hospital culture most of the candidates are familiar with. Feedback at times will feel brusque and impersonal, but in reality, is focused and oriented to create immediate action in time and cash-constrained environments.

Ignition Health registrations are now full.

Register your interest for Ignition Health 2018 below.


Ignition IP

Ignition IP is a one-day workshop delivered together with Australia’s leading intellectual property firm, Davies Collison Cave, that focuses on intellectual property management strategies for medical devices. It is designed to equip candidates with the necessary knowledge to protect their intellectual property through trademarks, patents and design registration. Candidates will learn about the different types of intellectual property, protection strategies and how to speak about their medical research or technology without giving away their secret sauce.

Ignition IP workshops in 2017 are provided at no cost to participants or their institution.

Eligibility for Ignition Health requires applicants to either be a NSW based clinician, researcher or graduate interested in protection strategies for their medical device intellectual property.

Ignition IP courses run four times per year.

Next available Ignition IP course will be held at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) in Wollongong on 22 November 2017 from 8:30-17:00.



The MDCTP offers an invaluable opportunity to NSW based medical device technologists to build knowledge, skills and network needed to successfully commercialise medical device technologies. Thirty-two graduates of the 2014 and 2015 training programs have launched nine companies, have collectively raised over $15 million in private and public funding, and six graduates transitioned from academia to industry.

Feedback from MDCTP Alumni:
The MDCTP course has been an incredibly valuable opportunity both for Sheridan and myself, giving us a sound basis from which to build our business, especially noting the importance of customer validation. The course has taught us not only what we should be doing now, but also what we should be preparing for. In the world of startups, timing can be critical and being aware and prepared helps to avoid falling into unwarranted regulatory, legal or other pitfalls down the track.
The commercialisation game is hard enough to play, and flying blind without a comprehensive understanding of the fundamentals is a recipe for failure. The MDCTP course gave us the momentum we needed to get out of the research facility and amongst the people we are trying to help and those that can help us make it happen.
Michael Weaver, Co-founder at Cenofex Innovations (Awarded the NSW-QB3 Rosenman Institute Program scholarship, MDCTP 2014).
The MDCTP was invaluable in teaching me how to commercialise a medical device and putting me in touch with key contacts within the field. I also learnt how to ‘pitch’. During the course my team worked on the ‘business model canvas’ for Kleer-i a sutureless surgery for the eye which helped with our successful application to the Medical Devices Fund.
Stephanie Watson, Eye Surgeon at Save Sight Institute, Founder at Kleer-i (Awarded with $50,000 Seed Funding, MDCTP 2015).
The MDCTP provided me with, not only the knowledge, but the experience of testing the validity of your idea in a market. We learnt the basics of many aspects necessary in commercialising a product and became familiar with the language used – this has already been of value in my role. But the key value of the course to me is that I now feel enabled to take an idea and systematically ask – does it solve a problem? for whom? and specifically what do I need to do to get it to them, and make a profit? I would certainly recommend it to people interested in commercialising their ideas, in fact I already do.
Stephen Bradford, Research Scientist in Genomics at CSIRO/Garvan Institute of Medical Research.


Ignition IP course dates – 11 September 2017 (FULL)

22 November 2017 in Wollongong (registrations open)

Ignition Health dates – 09 August to 25 October (Stream 1 on Wednesday mornings) and 10 August to 26 October 2017 (Stream 2 on Thursday mornings)

Ignition CORE 2018 applications open – 02 October 2017

Ignition CORE 2018 applications close – 28 November 2017

Ignition CORE 2018 interviews – 05 to 09 December 2017 (shortlisted candidates only)

Ignition CORE 2018 course dates – 01 February to 25 April 2018 (selected candidates only)

Ignition CORE graduation – 24 May 2018



What constitutes a ‘medical device’?
Any type of device, diagnostic, app, software or processing technology that aims to improve patient or health system outcomes. This includes gene therapy and drug manufacturing technologies. It does NOT include therapeutic drugs.

What happens to my intellectual property during the course?
Non-disclosure agreements are signed by all parties involved in the course, and we do not require you to reveal any sensitive information. We do not take any ownership of your intellectual property.

Ignition CORE

I am a clinician, post-doctoral researcher, PhD graduate or final year PhD student, but I do not own/have access to medical device intellectual property. Can I still apply for Ignition CORE?
You may not be eligible for the CORE course, however, you are still eligible to apply for the Ignition IP and Ignition Health courses.

I am not a clinician, post-doctoral researcher or PhD graduate, but I own/have access to medical device intellectual property. Can I still apply for Ignition CORE?
You may not be eligible for the CORE course, however, you are still eligible to apply for the Ignition IP and Ignition Health courses.

Is there any post-program support for Ignition CORE?
Yes, there is seed funding, international discovery grants and international scholarships available to graduates of the Ignition CORE course.

Ignition Health

Do I need ownership or access to intellectual property for Ignition Health?
No, you do not require your own or access to intellectual property. We will be sourcing problems within the State health system that can be potentially solved using technology, for candidates without their own intellectual property to work on.

Is there any post-program support for Ignition Health?
No. There is only post-program support for successful candidates of Ignition CORE.


For further information please contact Michelle Chee via Applications will only be accepted via the application form and will not be considered if they are sent via email.



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