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Connecting PhD Researchers to Industry

iPREP Biodesign

Available to PhD students enrolled through The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Macquarie University, CQUniversity Australia, University of Wollongong Australia and Western Sydney University.

A Collaboration Between Perth Biodesign & iPREP WA

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Building  innovation capacity
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Harnessing research
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High calibre
PhD candidates
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Progressive industry

Our Program

The iPREP Biodesign program is a newly established initiative between Perth Biodesign and iPREP WA. It provides PhD candidates an industry engagement opportunity and training on design thinking, and industry with access to research expertise to stimulate growth and innovation. The program networks across the Graduate Research Schools of The University of Western Australia, Curtin University, Edith Cowan University, Murdoch University, The University of Notre Dame Australia, Macquarie University, CQUniversity Australia, University of Wollongong Australia and Western Sydney University. 

iPREP Biodesign is the only established program in Australia with the unique attributes of using multidisciplinary teams of PhD students to work on industry-defined problems with clear benefits to universities, students and industry. Coupled with specialised training on Perth Biodesign methodology, the program attracts high calibre PhD candidates with a vision to grow Australia's industry sector through the translation of research.

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Our Mission


To improve the sustainability and competitiveness of Australian industries 

To give PhD students a competitive advantage across a broad range of future career paths in industry 


Help bridge the 'industry-research divide' by linking the abilities of PhD students to the development needs of industries  

Our Process

Spanning across all sectors and disciplines, teams of PhD students are connected to industry through the following process.

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Mentoring & Support 

Student teams receive weekly support from course faculty during the placement. Mentoring is tailored towards each project and provides students with assistance towards project management, team dynamics and ensuring project deliverables are met.

Biodesign Training 

Student teams receive weekly training in Biodesign methodology, which is based upon Stanford University's prescriptive Biodesign innovation process. This methodology follows three key phases; identify unmet needs; invent solutions that address these needs; and create implementation strategies. Generalised to accommodate all industry sectors, the training is advantageous for broadly-scoped projects.

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Professional Development Training 

Student teams receive weekly training that fosters essential and transferrable professional skills including conflict management, teamwork, public speaking and intentional networking. Delivered by a variety of external subject specialists, this additional support improves delivery of project outcomes, aids in soft skill development and compliments research expertise.


Our Team

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Sandra Medic

iPREP Biodesign Program Coordinator

Sandra is the Biomedical and Health Innovation Program Manager, responsible for managing the iPREP Biodesign program. Sandra is an experienced biomedical scientist and researcher, obtaining her PhD at Edith Cowan University in 2011. She has spent over 15 years in the Higher Education sector, working in an undergraduate and postgraduates research environment as a lecturer and academic program coordinator. 
Sandra was the PhD Course Coordinator at Edith Cowan University, where she was providing strategic support and operational management of key education and training programs for Higher Degrees by Research (HDR) students. She led the development and delivery of cross-disciplinary research training to meet student, industry and sector needs, implementing education delivery advances and research training innovations to improve training quality and support learning and teaching goals and outcomes. With an extensive experience in the Western Australian Higher Education, Sandra joined the Perth Biodesign team in a quest for bringing industry, academia and research together. Working closely with over 150 doctoral students across various disciplines, she is committed to fostering PhD researcher development and passionate about creating industry engagement opportunities for PhD researchers to forge their future career paths.

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Chloe Goodred

Program Delivery Lead

Chloe is an innovative and effective healthcare leader who is passionate about improving the way we design and deliver care to improve outcomes for patients, staff and the broader community. Chloe began her career as a physiotherapist and worked across a range of clinical settings before pivoting into clinical service design and project management. Her curiosity and passions for problem solving, diverse collaborations and systems thinking led her into the innovation and entrepreneurship space, co-founding a digital health startup and acting as a boundary spanner to bring public and private sector innovators together. Most recently Chloe led the Kaartdijin Innovation Centre at South Metropolitan Health Service, including establishment in 2019 – the first innovation hub for WA public health services. She has engaged, connected and empowered clinicians, technicians, corporate staff and external partners to dream big and innovate to solve problems. Chloe also has a keen interest in Aboriginal health, wellbeing and justice including volunteer work for Enterprise Partnerships WA, a not-for-profit partnering with remote First Nations communities to facilitate entrepreneurship and activate community-led enterprises that foster health and well-being. In particular, Chloe is working with Oliver Bazzani to deliver the Perth Biodesign course and with Sandra Medic to deliver the Biodesign content for iPREP Biodesign

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Kevin Pfleger

Director Biomedical and Health Innovation

Kevin is Director Biomedical and Health Innovation at The University of Western Australia and WA Life Sciences Innovation Hub. He is also Deputy Director of the Australian Research Council Centre for Personalised Therapeutics Technologies, President of the Australasian Society of Clinical and Experimental Pharmacologists and Toxicologists, Executive Sponsor of the Australian Clinical Entrepreneur Program, Chief Scientific Advisor to Dimerix and Chair of the Accelerating Australia Executive Committee. Kevin also serves on the Life Sciences WA Committee, the WA Branch Committee of AusBiotech and the Management Committee of the WA Health Translation Network. As Director Biomedical Innovation, Kevin oversees the Perth Biodesign program led by The University of Western Australia on behalf of a cross-sector consortium. 

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“iPREP Biodesign can provide an effective and low-risk pathway for bringing new employees into the organisation, where we get to see how a particular student functions within our working environment prior to potentially recruiting them as an employee”

- Dr Michael Garrett, Head of Research and Innovation, Cinglevue International

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"iPREP Biodesign has offered me not only the privilege to engage, challenge myself, and learn from an incredibly talented team of industry professionals, but also to connect with like-minded peers while receiving continuous training and support to build my career in innovation"

- Martina Mariano

Round 1 2021 Graduate

Administered and Sponsored by

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Graduate Research School Partners

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The iPREP Biodesign program was initiated as a result of seed funding from the X-TEND WA program, New Industries Fund

The New Industries Fund is managed by the Department

of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation

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