Supporting a thriving MedTech Industry in Western Australia

Australia’s MedTech industry is in a time of high growth, transforming global health outcomes, and has the potential to be one of Australia’s largest innovative sectors. However, Western Australia still faces key challenges in terms of growth opportunities when compared to the rest of Australia.

Western Australia has a strong heritage of successful medical training and research discoveries, well-established medical research facilities, state-of-the-art infrastructure, and internationally-recognised capability in technologies such as genomics and phenomics. So how can we add scalability to take early stage research to commercialisation and attract and retain the best talent?

PwC Australia and Wrays are excited to bring you an exclusive breakfast event where we will hear from a range of experts to explore:

  • How the WA Life Sciences community can remain competitive and a rich creator of innovation
  • Opportunities and key focus areas for growth of the industry
  • How we can continue to connect the inherent entrepreneurial spirit of WA to this exciting future industry.

Keynote Speaker

Hon Roger Cook MLA, Minister for Health and Mental Health

Hon. Roger Cook MLA is the Deputy Premier of Western Australia (WA), and Minister for Health and Mental Health.

Mr Cook has been an elected member of the Parliament of Western Australia since 2008, representing the seat of Kwinana.

In the two years since becoming Minister for Health, Mr Cook has presided over significant achievements in preventative health and innovative health service delivery.

These achievements include:

  • Opening of the new Perth Children’s Hospital
  • A review into more sustainable growth for the WA health system
  • Mandatory pregnancy warnings on alcohol products
  • Free meningococcal ACWY vaccinations for children up to age 5
  • Free measles vaccine for adults
  • A red tape reduction strategy for health research, innovation and commercialisation

Mr Cook studied Arts and Public Administration at Murdoch University before completing a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and a Master of Business Administration at Curtin University.

Before entering politics Mr Cook worked as a public relations specialist, as an advocate for indigenous issues and in the offices of a number of elected officials in both Federal and State Parliaments. He served as WA president of the Australian Labor Party from 1999 to 2000.

In addition to his strong support for indigenous issues, Mr Cook is a strong advocate for health and fitness and he regularly competes in triathlons.


Professor Kevin Pfleger, Director of the WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub

Professor Kevin Pfleger is the Director of the Western Australian Life Sciences Innovation Hub at The University of Western Australia (UWA) and Head of Molecular Endocrinology and Pharmacology at the UWA Centre for Medical Research (Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research). He is also Chief Scientific Advisor of Dimerix, a spin-out company from The University of Western Australia.

Dimerix is commercialising technologies invented in his laboratory and directed towards drug discovery around receptor heteromers, a new class of drug targets. Prof Pfleger was awarded his MA and PhD from Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities respectively, and relocated to Western Australia in October 2002. He was a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Peter Doherty Research Fellow from 2005 to 2008, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow from 2011 to 2014, and an NHMRC RD Wright Research Fellow from 2015 to 2018.

Prof Pfleger was named Western Australian Young Scientist of the Year 2009, his work featured as one of the NHMRC 10 of the Best Research Projects 2010 and he was awarded the 2011 Australian Museum 3M Eureka Prize for Emerging Leader in Science. In 2012, he won both the Endocrine Society Early Investigators Award and Western Australia Young Tall Poppy Science Award. More recently, he has been honoured with the Endocrine Society of Australia’s Mid-Career Research Award for 2014, an NHMRC Research Excellence Award 2014, the UWA Vice-Chancellor’s Mid-Career Research Award 2015, the Perkins Recognition Award 2016, the Novartis Prize of the British Pharmacological Society 2016, 2017 40under40 Intrapreneur Category winner and City of Perth Strategic Alliance Award, UWA Innovation Champion 2018, and the 2018 ASCEPT Award for outstanding contribution and leadership as Chair of the ASCEPT Scientific Advisory Committee 2017-2018.

Sheryl Frame, Commercialisation Advisor, Entrepreneurs Program – Accelerating Commercialisation

After 4 year as General Manager of Clayko Group, Sheryl joined Commercialisation Australia in May 2011. A change in Government saw the formation of the Entrepreneur Program as an all encompassing vehicle to help businesses. Sheryl is now a Commercialisation Adviser with the Accelerating Commercialisation element of this program.

Sheryl’s expertise is in new business development, strategy, sales and marketing specifically in the healthcare, biotech and technology sectors. She has an extensive network of international and local business contacts throughout Southern Africa, the UK, Canada and the US.

She maintains positions on the Board of SpringBoard Enterprise Australia, StartupWA and Women in Technology WA (WITWA). She previously sat on the Executive Board of Australian Women in IT, Science and Engineering (AWISE).

Sheryl began her career studying physiotherapy at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa before changing direction and joining IBM. She has acquired extensive technology and business skills over the years in many and varied roles including as a systems engineer and programmer, in sales, marketing and management.

Sheryl has strong people skills and particularly enjoys building relationships and overcoming the challenges faced in commercialising new technologies.

Matthew Oldakowski, Bioengineering researcher, entrepreneur & inventor – Curtin University

Matt is a biomedical engineering researcher and medical device entrepreneur with a mechanical engineering degree from The University of Western Australia. In his PhD studies at Curtin University he co-developed an expandable orthopaedic screw which spun-out into REX Ortho. He is also a co-inventor and co-founder of Cervical ChinUp. Matt recently returned from Stanford University where he trained as a Global Faculty in Training Fellow at the Stanford Byers Center for Biodesign, as well as being an Endeavour Executive Fellow. He now works across Curtin University and St John of God Hospital to establish bioengineering capability, in addition to being Perth Biodesign’s co-Course Director for Accelerating Australia.


7:15am: Doors open & networking
7:30am: Welcome
7:40am: Keynote speaker
8:05am: Panel discussion and Q&A
9:05am: Networking
9:30am: Close

To register for this free event, click here!
Friday 17 May 2019
PwC Perth, Level 15, 125 Saint Georges Terrace, Perth

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