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Zahra Champion

Creating a healthy, clean and prosperous NZ boosted by BioTech

Kia Ora

BIOTechNZ has been in the news several times this month!  To achieve our vision of a healthy, clean and prosperous New Zealand boosted by biotech, a key objective is to promote a better understanding of biotechnology.  We need to raise awareness about our community and tell the biotech story.  Stories on our ecosystem have positioned it as a hi tech cash cow, on the cusp of a world first biotech production surge and more.

Earlier this month in Auckland we reconnected with the biotech community including colleagues from across Australia.  Our launch was kindly supported by Brandon Capital, and the Medical Research Commercialisation Fund (MRCF), and we were delighted to have the Honourable David Parker open the event and officially launch BIOTechNZ , particularly given his strong links with our industry.

Last week, the Ausbiotech Annual Conference was held in Brisbane, with 1100 delegates and over 600 engaging in biopartnering.  It was a fantastic event, BIOTechNZ will continue to build a closer alliance with Ausbiotech and the broader Biotech industry as they are a valuable partner for science and technology and is a major market for innovative businesses.

One of the many highlights was the  Johnson & Johnson Innovation Industry Excellence Awards announced by Ms Kathy Connell, Senior Director New Ventures, ANZ, Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Long time industry supporter and previous CEO of AusBiotech, Dr Anna Lavell, won the Industry Leadership Award, for dedicating her life to biotechnology, Dr Anna Lavell has worked for over 25 years campaigning for the growth and expansion of the life sciences and medical technologies sector.  Congratulations Anna from the BIOTechNZ community it was well deserved!

At the Ausbiotech Conference dinner I had the pleasure of sitting next to Andrew Wear, Director, Medtech and Pharmaceuticals from the Victorian Government.  Andrew highlighted the initiatives and success for the Victoria State which has similar population to NZ (Victoria $6.3milion population).  What resonated with me was New Zealand is placed fourth out of the 54 countries studied, scoring ahead of Australia and Switzerland under the global ranking for biotechnology.  The State of Victoria and is an internationally recognised centre of excellence in medical research and discovery.  In New Zealand we also have a huge opportunity to be recognised for our innovation in biotechnology for our quality of research and development.

We are currently finalising a full programme with plenty of opportunities to meet and network in 2019, because we know how important it is to create partnering opporunites in our ecosystem.

Zahra Champion

Executive Director

Zahra Champion Zahra is Executive Director of BIOTechNZ and is working to bring together a national community of biotech innovators, investors, researchers, educators and policy makers; and connecting this community to global biotech ecosystems.