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Medtech Steals The Show At WAIOTY 2021

The medical technology and pharmaceutical sector shone brightly at this year’s WA Innovator of the Year Awards. Four of the six awards were taken home by medtech companies, applauding some of the most cutting-edge innovations in the state.

Delivered under the New Industries Fund by the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation on behalf of the WA State Government, the WA Innovator of the Year program proudly encourages and celebrates innovation originating in Western Australia. The awards were presented by Minister for Innovation and ICT Don Punch MLA, who also announced the New Industries Fund (NIF) will receive an additional $16.7 million for the next four years. Established in 2017, the NIF now has funding through to 2025.

“The winners and the finalists of this year’s awards are first-class examples of the world-leading innovation and technology being developed right here in Western Australia. Through initiatives like the Innovator of the Year program, the WA Government is helping the State’s emerging businesses commercialise their technologies.”

Innovation and ICT Minister Don Punch MLA

Vision Pharma was awarded a $70,000 cash prize and in-kind contributions from sponsors as the overall winner, in recognition of their precision medicine to treat inherited retinal diseases. Gold sponsorship was provided by iPREP WA, providing Vision Pharma with a multidisciplinary team of PhD students to help further their innovation in 2022. Read more about the iPREP Biodesign program.

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2021 Overall Winner: Vision Pharma 

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Medtech winners were also named in other categories:

  • Rio Tinto Emerging Category – Navier Medical for their advanced coronary artery assessment tool called Apricot;

  • Business News ‘Great for the State’ – VeinTech for their handheld, ultraportable device that assists with visualising veins;


  • Wesfarmers Wellbeing – VitalTrace for their biosensor for monitoring babies during childbirth

2021 Category Winners 

(L-R) Assoc Prof Barry Doyle and Dr Lachlan Kelsey from Navier Medical, Dr Katherine Arenson, Nick Buckley and Nikhilesh Bappoo from VeinTech, Dr Arjun Kaushik and Dr Michael Challenor from VitalTrace  

VeinTech was founded out of Perth Biodesign for Medtech 2019 and VitalTrace from the SPARK Co-Lab Design Course 2016, the predecessor to the Perth Biodesign for Medtech course. Both companies are strong supporters of the iPREP Biodesign program, UWA Master of Professional Engineering student internships and Biodesign bootcamps.

Avicena Systems and Agile8 were recognised for their contribution to WA innovation as category finalists.

This year’s finalists and winners represent some of the State’s most creative entrepreneurs and innovators. More information can be found here.

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