Seed Funding

MIME Seed Funding

MIME Seed Funding accelerates the development of new medical technologies that address significant unmet clinicals needs. Clinicians of all disciplines work in partnership with IT/digital health, engineering and human-centred design researchers to discover new medical technologies.

Applicants are able to request up to $50,000 per project. The funding will be directed to projects that can achieve a meaningful outcome within 12-18 months, e.g. proof-of-concept data or initial prototype. The seed funding is aimed at progressing a project to the point that the research team is well positioned to then secure external investment from industry, philanthropy and/or competitive grants to progress to the next phase of R&D.

The application process is a two-staged approach: an initial call to clinicians and allied healthcare workers to define areas of unmet clinical need Phase 1), followed by an invitation to all Monash staff who hold a primary appointment through the Monash Faculties of either MNHS, FIT, FE or MADA, in partnership with the clinical champion from Phase 1, to respond with proposed solutions (Phase 2). All Monash staff are eligible to participate in the multidisciplinary ‘solution' teams. Researchers from MIME partner institutions are also invited to participate as members of the collaborative teams.

MIME welcomes the support and funding contribution of Monash Partners Academic Health Science Centre.

Phase Two applications are now closed. Thank you to all who applied. Shortlisted interviews will occur in October. Successful applications will be notified in November.

View 2023 MIME Seed Funding Phase 1 proposals here.

Missed our recent information sessions? Watch here (Phase 1 focus). Watch here (Phase 2 focus).

Need more information? Download our MIME Seed Funding Q &  A

Eligibility

  • The Clinician applying at Phase 1 must be an active clinician who is employed within the Monash Partners network of health services. They must also have an affiliate appointment with Monash University FMNHS.
  • Phase 2 applicants must hold a primary appointment through Monash Faculties of either MNHS, FIT, FE or MADA.
  • A Phase 1 and Phase 2 applicant cannot be the same person. Core to MIME’s vision is to foster collaboration through bringing together cross faculty/health service researchers and clinicians.
  • The project must be translational in nature – the proposed solution needs to be ready to take the next step to commercial and/or clinical development pathway during or immediately after the work proposed in the application. If basic fundamental research is proposed, researchers must clearly justify how the proposed work meets the necessary ‘translational’ requirements.
  • To enable strong engagement with researchers, applicants are strongly encouraged to prepare and submit a 5min (maximum) video outlining the unmet clinical need. Whilst this is optional (not an eligibility requirement), this will further support your application. Instructions on how to do this via zoom can be found here. Please try to keep the file size to 50MB.

Objectives

Excellence: To foster high quality multidisciplinary research targeted at driving major innovations in the development of new medical technologies.

Relevance: To promote early engagement of clinicians and allied healthcare workers in defining areas of significant unmet clinical need, particularly those in which leading-edge engineering, IT and human-centred Art/Design expertise is required to tackle the challenge.

Interdisciplinary research: To build stronger links between Monash STEM researchers and clinicians/allied healthcare workers in our partner hospitals, to foster new research collaborations, new areas/applications of research, or accelerate the translation of our research through to clinical evaluation.

Leverage: To serve as ‘seed’ funding for projects with potential to attract substantial external research funding (immediate co-investment or clear path to grant, government or industry funding) beyond the life of the original project.

Strategic alignment: To build critical mass in MIME themes likely to be nationally and internationally competitive.

Impact: To support activities that substantially progress the translation of the research/technology, including partnerships with organisations that will contribute to the translation of the technology, e.g. industry, hospitals, CSIRO, medical research institutes.

Key dates

Monday 15 MayCall to clinicians and allied health workers for unmet needs opens
Monday 19 June, 5pm Call to clinicians and allied healthcare workers for unmet needs closes
July Selected proposals announced on MIME website
Monday 10 July Call for solutions opens
July Information session
Monday 21 August, 5pm Call for solutions closes
October Shortlisted interviews
November Announcement of successful candidates

Process, criteria and expectations

Process

  1. Invitation to Medicine Nursing and Health Sciences clinicians (staff and adjuncts) in Monash partner hospitals to submit a proposal identifying a specific challenge in patient care that is amenable to an innovative engineering, IT and/or Art/Design solution.
  2. Phase 1 applications and short presentations from clinical champions will be available to Monash researchers for viewing on the MIME website (password protected).
  3. Invitation to all Monash staff and adjuncts who hold a primary appointment through the Monash Faculties of either MNHS, FIT, FE or MADA to submit a proposed research program in response to the advertised clinician statements of need. The program should aim to develop a tangible outcome addressing the clinical need within a 12-18-month period. Staff will need to discuss their proposed solution with the Clinician PI prior to submission, with the clinician PI to be a co-applicant as per the application form. Project proposals to meet unmet clinical need may be put forward by any Monash staff member (i.e. open to staff from all Faculties), but the proposed research team lead must be a researcher from the Faculties of Engineering or IT or Art/Design, and the initiating clinician PI.
  4. Researchers are invited to include collaborators from MIME and Monash Partners partner organisations (e.g. Baker Institute, Hudson Institute, CSIRO) or external partner organisations, (e.g. industry, government departments and community groups) in the proposed team. In these cases, strong preference will be given to projects in which co-funding is provided by the collaborating external partner organisation.
  5. Applications submitted by the due date will be assessed by the Seed Fund Review Panel, which will make a final decision on prioritisation of proposals and allocation of funds.
  6. Recipients of MIME Seed Funding will be required to present the outcomes of their research project (e.g. 1-2 occasions at select meetings and events throughout the ~18-month project duration and potentially to external representatives), and participate in commercialisation focussed support programs, when requested by MIME management.

Selection criteria

  1. Is the project aligned with the goals of MIME and the stated objectives of the MIME Seed Fund? Specifically, does it:
    • Target a significant unmet clinical need?
    • Involve high quality collaborative multidisciplinary research?
    • Aim to make a major healthcare impact – a MedTech innovation that has a well-defined and achievable pathway to impact and will result in substantial improvements for patients and/or efficiencies in healthcare delivery?
  2. Can the project be successfully completed within the relevant timeframe (12-18 months) including with the given budget?
  3. Is there an obvious market and/or target user group/s for the product?
  4. Is the proposed solution novel, or is it encumbered by existing intellectual property and/or competitor product/s on the market?
  5. Have the applicants demonstrated a clear pathway towards additional funding and/or other resources post MIME Seed Funding, as a means for sustainability of project development towards its ultimate goal?
  6. Is the project applied in nature: is there a clear and near pathway towards demonstrating clinical utility of the technology?
    • Early stage/basic research projects are acceptable as long as there is demonstration of a clear justification for the current project being necessary according to the vision of MIME, and a relatively immediate and defined pathway to scaled funding and clinical impact).

Expectations

Expectations and responsibilities if funded – the basic terms of a binding Agreement with MIME are as follows:

  1. A Project Leader shall be identified by the research team and responsible for all communication and project reporting to MIME. Project team members need to nominate what role they will be performing on the project.
  2. A binding Agreement between the project team and MIME will be negotiated with the MIME Program Manager and the Project Leader prior to receipt of funding. All project team members need to sign the Agreement at commencement.
  3. Emergent IP will be monitored by the Program Manager of MIME with a view to IP protection if and when necessary. All project team members need to declare if they are bringing any background IP to the project
  4. Publications (including presentations such as conference talks/posters) of results arising from MIME funding are subject to protection of IP and approval from the MIME Executive. The terms of Publication will be negotiated in the Agreement. Publication rights will not be unduly or unnecessarily restricted.
  5. Project teams and the MIME Executive will agree on a Schedule of milestones and expected outcomes prior to funding commencing. These terms will be in the Agreement and reported against on a quarterly basis.
  6. Teams will be required to present at MIME Seed Fund Showcase and related events, as well as participate in commercialisation-focused workshops and programs when requested by MIME management.
  7. A final budget for the project will be negotiated with, and approved by the Program Manager of MIME prior to project commencement.
  8. Progress reports will be submitted to MIME by the project leader on a quarterly basis.
  9. Progress and expenditure updates may be requested at any time or for specific industry engagement activities by MIME.
  10. IP and commercialisation rights and activities will be negotiated in good faith if and when necessary as the project progresses.
  11. Expenditure of funds will only be approved for Scheduled activities – refer to item 5. Any unanticipated variation must be agreed by the Program Manager of MIME.
  12. If any party moves to another Institution from their nominated role upon commencing the project, they are to alert MIME and not spend further funding without MIME approval.

Past projects

MIME Seed Funding funded the following 8 projects in 2022.

In the News

For further information about MIME Seed Funding contact Andrew Carey, MIME Program Manager on andrew.carey@monash.edu