ANU innovation company WearOptimo is developing microwearable medical devices that could save lives.
Now, their tiny tech has been given a big boost thanks to a multi-million dollar funding agreement with Aspen Medical, in a new deal set to revolutionise precision medicine globally.
The investment provides WearOptimo significant funding to accelerate the development of its very first product - a microwearable sensor that detects and alerts an individual to dehydration risk - while refining and testing it across sectors including military, mining and resources.
Glenn Keys, founder and Executive Chair of Aspen Medical said, "We are continually looking for ways that biotech can better serve our customers and the level of service we can provide them.
"The development of WearOptimo's hydration microwearable sensor is an exciting prospect as this is an important issue for several of our clients who are focused on ensuring safety and optimal performance of their employees."
WearOptimo founder and CEO Professor Mark Kendall said ANU had shown extraordinary support and belief in WearOptimo as a company and the technology it is creating.
"Because of the University's commitment, how we are performing is not only a seismic shift from the past of university commercialisation of R&D, but its model...should be of great interest for many parties including government," he said.
"What makes us unique is that we are not a spin-out company, we are a private company, and ANU has backed us from the beginning as an investor with its full institutional support.
"Of course, our job is to succeed in our own right, but we hope to also pave the way for others to pursue this type of model which, when you get it right, navigates that sometimes clunky interface between universities and industry."
Professor Kendall said ANU understands that WearOptimo is in a fast-moving field that demands the agility to make decisions quickly.
"We value the University's flexibility to meet the particular nuances of the field, the market, and the nature of the researcher academic or entrepreneur," Professor Kendall said.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian Schmidt said one of the key missions at ANU is to deliver innovation that improves the lives of Australians.
"WearOptimo is a perfect example of this, developing and delivering revolutionary healthcare technology that will potentially save lives," Professor Schmidt said.
"Our partnership with WearOptimo is an example of how universities and private companies can deliver the innovation our nation needs; taking ideas from the lab to the wider world and putting new technology in the hands of those who need it most."