Showcasing Innovations for Health in China

World-leading health research and cutting edge medical innovations from the University of Auckland were showcased at a special medical technology and health commercialisation conference co-hosted by UniServices in HEDA this month.

More than 150 investors, inventors, Chinese corporations, government agency representatives and academics attended the Ideas to Life Conference 2018 - Innovations for Healthy Living held at the University of Auckland Innovation Institute in HEDA.  UniServices established the innovation institute a year ago in Hangzhou.


Dr Lisbeth Jacobs, UniServices Executive Director International and Chairwoman of the new institute says: “Hangzhou is one of China’s leading innovation and technology hubs and home to the research and development centres of manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies including Siemens, Abbott, Pfizer, Novartis, Bayer, Eli Lilly, Merck, Huawei and ABB. The UOAIIC provides access to an extensive range of networks, including research and funding opportunities in New Zealand, and has a strong focus on collaboration and partnering.”


She says the aim of the conference is to continue to build the innovation eco-system between China and New Zealand and foster relationships with partners, investors and potential collaborators.


“The conference is supporting the Institute to build better relationships in China, and improve market knowledge and market access which will ultimately provide a safe pathway for the University of Auckland’s international clients who want to conduct research in China,” she says.


It is the second conference for the UniServices entity. The first conference last year featured five research streams, but the commercialisation session was so heavily over-subscribed it prompted UniServices to focus this year’s conference entirely on commercialisation.


Dr Jacobs says China has traditionally had a strong manufacturing base but are just starting to invest heavily in medical R&D.


“As the Chinese health sector matures, its key players will be looking for ways to acquire unique assets such as drugs and devices it can introduce to the Chinese market to maintain a competitive edge. Showcasing New Zealand medical devices and digital health technologies being commercialised by UniServices and other companies is the perfect way to tap into Chinese interest in a way that benefit both New Zealand and Chinese researchers, research investments and companies."


The first day features two partner pitching sessions – the first with the North Asia Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence (CAPE), and the second with Zino Ventures.


The University of Auckland Vice-Chancellor Professor Stuart McCutcheon will open the conference on the second day in the presence of the Rt Honourable Ambassador of New Zealand to China, Clare Fearnley, and accompanied by Auckland UniServices Chief Executive Officer Andy Shenk and Dr Jacobs.


The second day focuses on innovations for healthy living, with commercialisation sessions featuring leading University of Auckland researchers including Associate Professor Anthony Phillips from the Surgical Translational Research Centre, Professor Chris Bullen from the National Institute for Health Innovation, and Associate Professor David Budgett from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute.


It also includes presentations from University of Auckland spin-out companies JunoFem, Suture Future, SpotCheck, Pachymatrix, Rheumatic Fever Diagnostic, and SCAMPI.


UniServices’ co-hosts and sponsors for the conference are the Hangzhou Economic and Technological Development Area (HEDA), Kea New Zealand, Zino Ventures, CAPE, Yealands and Orivida


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