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Meet the 2023 TRAM Runway Cohort

Sarah Robertson · August 29th, 2023

Imagine a world where previously threatened plant communities grow in abundance in our cities and parks. Iron deficiencies are accurately diagnosed through quantum sensing technology and extinct animal species are brought back to life with genome editing technology.

It’s far from being a fantasy future. Let us introduce you to the TRAM Runway teams making this world a reality.

The 2023 TRAM Runway cohort comprises 11 teams creating research driven solutions for some of the world’s biggest and most interesting problems. Seven of the teams completed TRAM Track (our pre-accelerator program) only a few weeks ago, powering forward through the sequence of TRAM programs as they travel further along their research entrepreneurship journeys and learn what having maximum impact looks like for them.

2023 marks the eighth year of TRAM Runway, the third program in the TRAM sequence, following Track and preceding TRAM Air.

Merida Sussex, TRAM Runway’s Program Manager, can’t wait to see the progress of the teams as they work their way through the 12-week program.

"I’m so thrilled to see the strength of ideas and variety in this year’s Runway cohort. The teams are solving some really pressing problems.

"Runway is the third of the TRAM programs, so by this stage the teams are finessing their value proposition for product/market fit. It’s also where research impact meets the marketplace as they develop their business models and strategies, design their MVPs and refine their visual identity through presentations.”

Have you ever heard of a Dolphin Pool? It’s a friendly version of a Shark Tank! It’s also a key part of the Runway program, where teams receive support and coaching to pitch to investors, collecting constructive and actionable feedback to use in future investment pitches.

Since 2016, we’ve seen teams make incredible progress over the 12-week journey – the 2023 cohort has already got us on the edge of our seats.

To hear their stories for yourself, join us on Thursday 16 November for TRAMaganza, our celebration of research impact at the University of Melbourne. You’ll be able to hear the Runway teams pitch and chat their ears off about their research afterwards.

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A huge round of applause for the 2023 TRAM Runway cohort

CarboPhite: There is a gap in the market for a high quality, low-cost carbon precursor for carbon coating lithium batteries. Mehrdad Parsa from the CarboPhite team has a novel method to create lithium battery anode materials. (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology)

FeBI Technologies: FeBI Technologies is developing quantum sensing technology to prevent missed and misdiagnosis of iron disorders. Iron disorders affect over 2 billion people worldwide, but problems with current tests for iron status can lead to significant health and economic consequences. The team’s innovative solution is a sensor system capable of assessing the previously unmeasurable magnetic signal coming from the iron in ferritin in a matter of minutes. (Florey Institute and Faculty of Science)

LorentzKracht: With the advancement of autonomous systems, there is a need for fast, private and flexible wireless communication systems. The LorentzKracht team is creating a new wireless technology for smart industry application. (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology and Faculty of Business and Economics)

Melbourne Meadows: Open ecosystems such as grasslands and grassy woodlands are home to the majority of threatened plant species and are critically endangered in Southeast Australia. We can reliably restore species from these plant communities by creating native wildflower meadows. These beautiful meadows offer lower maintenance costs to turfgrass, support birds and bees and provide an urban greening solution that helps to bend the curve of biodiversity loss in our cities and towns. (Faculty of Science)

Reachie: The process for research students finding academic supervisors, and vice versa, is complicated and difficult. The Reachie team is developing a platform to match supervisors and research students. (Melbourne Graduate School of Education)

Sensitive Personality Project: Around 25% of the population have the highly sensitive personality trait, yet there is little awareness and education around it, resulting in poor wellbeing for these individuals. Becky Black from the Sensitive Personality team is developing a solution to support individuals with the sensitive personality trait. (Melbourne Graduate School of Education)

Recovive: Recovive (synthetic biology with ecologically therapeutic applications) comprises a large collaborative research team headed by Prof Andrew Pask and Dr Stephen Frankenberg. Recovive’s research integrates genome editing technology with stem cell, reproductive and developmental biology for a range of applications including species de-extinction, invasive pest eradication, and development of next-generation conservation tools. (Faculty of Science)

EyeCP: A knock to the head can be fatal in the most serious cases, but what about the effect of one or more little head knocks? Team EyeCP is working towards a portable, handheld eye imaging device to give peace-of-mind about the potential for raised pressure inside the skull after a mild head injury. (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences)

Vis-CAT: Visual cognition is not tested in children’s early education, leading to learning difficulties later on in life. Christine Nearchou from the Vis-CAT test team is building a screening tool to identify children with visual cognition deficits. (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences)

Be:With: Sexual health education is inconsistent and confusing for young people. Madeleine Lim from the Young People’s Sexual Health team aims to make sexual health education accessible to young people in the same way they consume content. (Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences)

X-Limb: X-Limb has developed a soft robotic prosthetic arm, realised through unique 3D printing techniques. Our technology enables the creation of a lightweight, scalable, and quickly producible arm with the required functionality, which can be easily customized at a low cost. This will address current challenges in designing prosthetic arms for children with upper-limb loss. (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology)

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