Last month we passed our first anniversary as a CRC – and I am pleased to report that we are in discussions with many of our participants around a wide range of exciting projects!
Some are at the Opportunity stage where we are discussing how the proposed project fits into our Flagships, or sourcing partners for projects. Others are in a detailed Planning stage or are close to having Agreements signed.
I am also pleased that we have three signed project agreements in place and that work on these projects has now commenced.
Generating projects around our Flagships is a high priority for our CRC, so we can develop baseline activity from which to grow. It is my goal to have the majority of our participants involved in projects by the end of this calendar year.
I hope that many of the projects we are starting now will either develop into larger projects involving more participants and/or over time we will generate large multi-million dollar, multi-year, system-wide Flagship projects – to the benefit of the health system, health professionals and health consumers.
We continue to be approached by organisations wishing to join our CRC or participate in projects. While our current funding is at levels equivalent to the bid, we can work with new participants if they are strategically important for us, for our existing participants or for a particular project.
In this respect, we are in the process of bringing on board two new core participants – the South Australian Department of Health and Wellness, and Sydney Local Health District. There are several other organisations who are in discussions with us around joining specific projects.
On the education front, we have released a draft of our Higher Degree by Research (HDR) Program to our academic participants for comment and will soon be publishing this on our website. This will provide the framework for engaging PhD and Masters students on our projects. We currently have 15 students associated with projects that are in advanced stages along our project pipeline.
This week, our participants will receive the first draft of our digital health education landscape review and an accompanying survey (a link to which is also included in our August newsletter). We are seeking your input to help us identify current and future training gaps as Australia’s health sector prepares for digital transformation.
Part of our CRC’s role is in capacity building and I would like us to facilitate the development of digital health skills, whether it be data science and engineering, analytics, or programming expertise. I am also very keen to explore other opportunities to expand our education program.
Lastly, I would like to inform you of some staff changes. Lee-Ann Breger, our Director of Partners and the Program Office, will be leaving at the end of the month to join the iMOVE CRC. Lee-Ann has been a key part of establishing our CRC and I know many of you have had a long and productive relationship with her. We wish her all the best and thank her for her significant contributions.
Kirsten Jackson has recently joined us as a Program Manager and has hit the ground running. Many of you will have already heard from her! We are looking to further expand our program management team, so please get in contact if you know of anyone who would be interested in such a role.
We have also welcomed our FREDs – or Flagship Research and Education Directors – to the team! These highly respected digital health leaders will be available to assist our participants to develop and progress projects in line with our Flagship areas of work. You’ll find a short introduction to them in our August newsletter and also on our website (see News and Events).
I look forward to working with you as we continue to establish a solid foundation on which to grow the Digital Health CRC, and to deliver significant projects with equally significant benefits.
Dr Victor Pantano
CEO, Digital Health CRC