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Cancer research startup Inventia wins Australia’s top design prize



Good Design Award of the Year winners, Inventia Life Science 

Featured | Startup

By Loren Webb

Sydney-based startup Inventia, which produces 3D printed cells for cancer research, has won the top prize at the prestigious Good Design Awards.

Announced recently at a gala ceremony in Sydney, the Inventia Rastrum 3D Bioprinter claimed Australia’s highest design accolade at the 61st annual Good Design Awards Ceremony.

Inventia’s Rastrum 3D bioprinter will be instrumental in the fight against cancer. The 3D printer emulates ink-jet technology to print human cells at a rapid rate – quickly cultivating realistic tumours for testing cancer drugs.

The impact this can have on patient experience will be life-changing as Inventia’s technology replaces an extensive and lengthy manual process that is currently subject to human error.

In time, Inventia’s technology will be able to grow skin, tissues, and organs – becoming a game changer for patients worldwide and the medical industry as a whole.

Inventia CEO Dr Julio Ribeiro said it was an honour to be recognised among a field of outstanding category winners, competing with innovations from 40 countries and with major companies like Hyundai and Tesla.

“To stand alongside such incredible innovators and win this award is a real privilege. I started in 2011 with a vision to build a world-leading bioprinting platform, one that would help transform medical research, create real impact in areas like cancer research and then expand to clinical applications. To see that dream come to fulfilment is a credit to the entire team that made it possible,” he added.

“The Rastrum platform is a great story of collaboration and a reflection of our company values. Our team worked closely with our partners at the University of New South Wales and the Children’s Cancer Institute, along with Design + Industry, to bring this revolutionary technology to life.

“This is the kind of innovation in deep technology that we believe can drive Australia into the future. We have incredible medical research in this country, strong government grant support and great technical minds. We hope that Inventia’s story in developing Rastrum inspires other innovators to solve complex challenges and take their solutions to the global stage,” Ribeiro said.

Inventia also won a Good Design Award for Best in Class in the Medical and Scientific category in recognition for outstanding design and innovation.

The annual Good Design Awards is Australia’s most prestigious international Awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958. The Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market, excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design and reward emerging areas of design strategy, social impact and design entrepreneurship.

Dr. Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence, it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately improve our quality of life. These projects showcase the brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world,”

The Good Design Awards Jury praised Inventia Rastrum 3D Bioprinter commenting: “The Rastrum 3D Bioprinter is helping to cure cancer. It provides a fast way to build 3D cell structures which are then used to test a range of therapies. The impact of this on patient experience is potentially life changing. The technology replaces and extensive and lengthy manual process that is subject to human error. Currently cells are cultured in 2D but tumors do not grow in 2D – they are 3D. The Rastrum builds the cell structure using advanced microfluidics, thus creating a more accurate structure to test immunotherapies on. The technology also enables researchers to construct unique formations of cells that was previously impossible.

“The Rastrum enables researchers to build cell structures and test in parallel, almost real-time a number of drug therapies to fight cancer. Previously a doctor would have to administer therapies directly to the patient to determine the reaction and potential success. Rastrum can rapidly test a wide range of drug treatments in a matter of days. This allows the clinician to better tailor treatment to specific patients, thus enhancing patient outcomes.

“Overall, this is a breakthrough innovation that has been coupled with world-class industrial design – a winning combination worthy of recognition at the highest level. Well done.”

The Good Design Awards attracted a record number of submissions with close to 700 design projects evaluated in this year’s international design awards.