Technology is fast becoming a ubiquitous and indispensable tool within advancing clinical medicine and the wider biosciences. Its applications hold tremendous potential for improving outcomes in areas including patient care, clinical efficiency, and scientific research.
In 2021, a group of university students in Melbourne understood the need and potential of a collaborative space where young people interested in medical technology (medtech) and biological technology (biotech) can unite to jointly explore this passion. Our student founders hailed from diverse educational backgrounds, including medicine, biomedical science, engineering, computer science, and commerce.
To realise this vision, we founded the Melbourne Bioinnovation Student Initiative (MBSI) in 2021. Our core mission endeavours “to provide a space for like-minded young people, from all disciplines and backgrounds, to explore shared interests in bio- and medical technology”.
MBSI is an incorporated nonprofit and charity organisation (registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission). Since its inception, we have experienced remarkable growth boasting a membership of over 120 volunteers, whose educational backgrounds reflect the diversity we seek to achieve: medicine, engineering, physical sciences, computer sciences, data sciences, biosciences and commerce. Our membership includes university students, recent graduates and young professionals
MBSI's mission is to provide a space for like-minded young people, from all disciplines and backgrounds, to explore shared interests in bio- and medical technology.
Since our founding in January 2021 with eighteen members, MBSI now boasts over 120 active member-volunteers and over 50 alumni.
The vast majority of members are university students aged between 17 and 28. Student-members and alumni come from the University of Melbourne, Monash University, Deakin University and La Trobe University, with inter-state representation from the University of Queensland. Our non-student volunteers include recent university graduates and other young people employed in a variety of professional careers, ranging from junior doctors, engineers, data scientists and research scientists.
MBSI recognises that STEM fields, especially engineering, remain male-dominated, despite the critical role that women play in STEM. As such, we have proactively engaged in recruiting female volunteers, reflecting our desire to promote women in STEM. At present, female volunteers account for 34% of our membership, with three out of seven Projects led by female volunteers. While we recognise we can do more to advance gender equity, we are nonetheless proud that MBSI offers women and non-cis-male-identifying individuals a supportive environment and opportunities for professional development through our initiatives.
MBSI’s volunteer base is also composed of individuals from diverse ethnic and national backgrounds, reflecting our dedication to embracing and celebrating diversity.