An exciting new initiative will establish a trans-Tasman relationship to connect NZ and Australia’s healthtech ecosystem – to effectively grow and scale our joint expertise globally.
The BioBridge is a partnership between the MedTech CoRE, the CMDT and Austrade, with the goal of developing sustainable research and innovation relationships between the two countries.
Dr Diana Siew who is leading the Biobridge initiative for New Zealand will oversee its development and implementation over the next 18 months.
“Due to our geographical distance from the rest of the world – and the relative sizes of our economies – NZ and Australia experience similar difficulties around the growth and scaling up of our health technology start-ups,” Diana says.
“There’s also the challenge of successfully translating our research into commercial opportunities and providing value back to our healthcare systems.”
The New Zealand Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment has allocated NZ$180,000 of funding for this project through Catalyst: Influence. Five themes have been identified as a focus – chronic health and connected care, brain health, digital health, indigenous health and regenerative medicine. These areas will contribute to Australia and NZ’s health priorities – where our combined expertise can create a global competitive advantage.
BioBridge will connect the two nation’s healthtech ecosystem to leverage our healthtech expertise, resources and networks,” Diana says.
“We have the opportunity to improve our leadership in the Asia-Pacific region in health technology innovation, creating an enhanced ecosystem to attract international talent, investors and multinationals.”
The hope is that the BioBridge will build more science and innovation partnerships, and create a lightweight governance structure to support those partnerships. It should also help to build a framework to align Australia and NZ healthtech translation and commercialization.
The first BioBridge partnership is between the University of New South Wales’ Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering and their Institute of Health Engineering. This leverages a wealth of trans-Tasman expertise in healthtech development, instrumentation, data analytics, machine learning and physiological modelling. Discussions are also in progress with ANDHealth as an innovation partner.