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Wollongong lives up to the title of City of Innovation today, with the opening of the first new 3D printing laboratory within a hospital in NSW.
Housed in Wollongong Private Hospital’s ‘Innovation Hub’, the lab will bring together researchers, clinicians and industry representatives in one location to fast-track the development of next generation health devices that are inspired by the needs of the clinicians and patients within the hospital.
The hub, based at Wollongong Private Hospital, contains a 3D printing facility that will be run by the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (ACES) and Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) Materials Node personnel.
Both are headquartered at the University of Wollongong’s Innovation Campus.
The lab is the brainchild of local vascular surgeon Dr Arthur Stanton, who founded and funded the facility with the vision of providing a creative, collaborative and commercial space for clinicians and researchers.
ACES Director Professor Gordon Wallace said the hub is all about bringing the right people together in a focused, creative space to accelerate the development of new medical devices.
“Wollongong has an opportunity to be a world-class technology region,” he said.
“We have all the right ingredients in a university recognised for its excellence in materials science, a national 3D printing facility and capabilities through the Australian National Fabrication Facility, along with a thriving medical sector.”
“This hub brings all of those experts together to help clinicians turn their ideas about how to improve patient care into real-word devices,” he said.
Importantly, the hub will also house industry experts, such as Australian company Anatomics, who are a leading 3D printing medical implant manufacturer and medical technology developer.
Anatomics Executive Chairman Paul D’Urso said the facility was a new benchmark for Australian innovation collaboration.
“This hub is a real example of what can be achieved with collaboration and commitment to building a future industry not just for Wollongong, but for the Australian medical technology sector,” he said.
The long-term outlook is positive, despite short-term challenges.
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