The first innovation district in Australia is attracting global medical technology companies keen to take advantage of the burgeoning local biomedical industry.
Somark Innovations has announced that it will base its development and manufacturing operations at the Tonsley Innovation Hub in Adelaide, South Australia. The company will use its Adelaide base to develop technology that will greatly improve the efficiency and accuracy of pre-clinical medical research.
Somark Innovations CEO Adrian Knight said the company was developing the Somark Ecosystem, an integrated end-to-end pre-clinical management system utilising visual identification, micro-RFID technology, data readers, data hubs and software to aggregate and analyse data.
“We chose Tonsley because it’s a real community for high-end manufacturing and development, housing companies just like us,” he said.
Somark, which has its headquarters in San Diego in the US, is partnering with another Tonsley tenant, Hydrix, to complete the development of its system.
The Tonsley Innovation Hub in southern suburbs of the South Australian capital is a centre for innovative advanced manufacturers, including medical technologies company Micro-X, and is bookended by the Flinders University at Tonsley building and community college TAFE SA.
Tenants have described the collaborative and innovative environment at the site – a former Mitsubishi car plant – as like a mini Silicon Valley.
Adelaide is also home to the new Adelaide BioMed City precinct, a $3 billion tripartite health hub comprising a soon-to-be-completed major hospital, research centres and educational institutions.
Somark will test its systems at the cornerstone of this new biomedical precinct, SAHMRI,
The SAHMRI facility is designed to accommodate up to 675 researchers from seven different specialties, providing nine fully flexible wet and dry laboratory modules as well as vivariums, a cyclotron, and associated public areas.
Health Industries South Australia Chief Executive Marco Baccanti said Somark would be a great addition to Adelaide’s growing life sciences community.
“We identified the company’s needs, connected them with local partners, and helped deliver financial support from government,” said Baccanti.
Somark is being supported by a South Australian State Government grant from its Early Stage Commercialisation Fund and loans drawn down when employment milestones are reached and maintained.
Baccanti said Adelaide, which has a population of about 1.3 million, was an attractive option for health industries because its compact size meant the typical barriers to collaboration were reduced.