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Growth Centre: MTPConnect
Publication Date: 
December 2018
Case study from: Growth Centres Success Stories

Nestled within academic institutions, opportunities to gain commercial insights and form relationships with industry leaders are limited for most PhD students. The Industry Growth Centres Initiative is working to improve researchers’ capacity to engage with industry in partnership with the Australian Academy of Technology and Engineering’s Industry Mentoring in STEM (IMNIS) Initiative.

Mentee in Focus: Alistair Kwok

IMNIS connects motivated PhD students in STEM with high level industry leaders in a one year mentoring program to improve their industry connections and knowledge. Through IMNIS, PhD Student Alistair Kwok was matched with mentor Dr Gabriel Liberatore, General Manager, Research and Development at Swisse Wellness.

The one year program encourages collaboration between industry and researchers by providing mentees with real world industry experience, knowledge and networks. Mentees establish strong ties between industry and academia while expanding their professional networks and employability.

The mentorship has given Alistair insights into industry and a greater understanding of different industry careers. It has also helped him appreciate the importance of networking and refine his pitching skills. IMNIS has given Alistair the ‘opportunity to be immersed in industry careers, unlike any other program available for PhD students’.

IMNIS has broadened Alistair’s view of where a PhD can lead and provided an opportunity to apply practical networking advice and create new connections. Alistair now feels more confident approaching and connecting with other scientists, industry staff and executives.

Support from the Medical Technologies and Pharmaceuticals Growth Centre, MTPConnect, has helped IMNIS extend its MedTech and Pharma Program nationally.

IMNIS is just one of the initiatives working in collaboration with the Industry Growth Centres Initiative to improve workforce and management skills and collaboration and commercialisation outcomes in key sectors across Australia.

Quote

‘In the last six months since commencing the IMNIS MedTech-Pharma program as a mentee, I have received more advice on careers in industry than in my last ten years of university and work’.

— Alistair Kwok, IMNIS Mentee