An innovative biotech start-up is tapping into PhD expertise to fast-track new bioprinting technology.

Former PhD Intern, Tom Grundy

Inventia Life Science – specialists in 3D bioprinting technology for drug discovery and biomed research – has engaged eight PhD student interns through the APR.Intern program and found the student placements a key to innovation.

The short-term, results-driven nature of APR.Intern projects has allowed Inventia Life Science to collaborate with universities, nationally, and tap into high-end academic resources. The access to Australia’s brightest emerging research talent has also been a pathway for Inventia Life Science to identify, attract and retain high-level research talent, with seven full-time hires made following successful projects.

One former intern is Dr Thomas Grundy from The University of Sydney, who was matched with the team when they were looking to develop a new 3D bioprinted model encapsulating tumour cells in 3D matrix environments. With a background in 3D cell biology and brain cancer research, Tom was a perfect candidate.

“Tom joined Inventia Life Science with extensive knowledge in a specific area of biophysics that was hugely beneficial for our product development and understanding of how 3D tissue cultures can be created with bioink material.


Overall, Tom has been an excellent example of how the latest academic research can be integrated into a product-focused, commercial environment,”


Dr Martin Engel, Head of Life Science Strategy at Inventia Life Science and Tom’s Industry Supervisor

For Tom, the 6-month industry internship was an opportunity to apply his research skills in a new environment and experience the relevance and impact of applied research.

“Some of the most valuable experience I gained from my internship at Inventia related to conducting focused, product-centric science and development in a business setting, which I found to be very different to science in the academic setting that I was familiar with.


Throughout a PhD, you develop a tolerance for hard work, a love of critical thinking, a passion for problem solving and fascination for the unknown. This internship further strengthened those skills in a fast-paced, customer-driven  business environment,”


Tom Grundy, Former Intern at Inventia Life Science

Following the successful internship, Tom was offered ongoing employment as an Application Scientist and has become a highly valued member of the Inventia Life Science team today.