New Zealand, with its first health research strategy, is aiming to develop a world-leading health research and innovation system by 2027. The goal is to create a system that improves the health and wellbeing of all New Zealanders, supported by a vibrant research and innovation environment.
The strategy strongly encourages researchers, industry and health providers to collaborate and work with communities and the people. It is supported by four guiding principles of research excellence, transparency, partnership with Māori and collaboration for impact.
In late August, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT) brought together a group of 50 researchers, health providers and clinicians, industry, funding organisations and government agencies associated with medtech to brainstorm and prioritise ideas that will support innovation in health technology and care for New Zealand.
The stakeholders at the Auckland workshop expressed a strong willingness to work together to improve the national ecosystem so that existing and new initiatives are clearly visible. The group was also keen that key connectors in the sector; pathways for research, commercialisation, funding and investment; and matching of expertise and needs are identified. This will help speed up sharing of knowledge for technology development and commercialisation. The workshop also acknowledged that changes were needed at policy level to help include research as part of the district health board mandate to create this new ecosystem envisioned.
Richard Walley, Policy Director from MBIEs Science, Innovation and International Branch indicated that the Ministry is proud to support the strategy reach its commercial goals. He says “MBIE’s role is to support transformative and innovative ideas, create more industry partnerships and strengthen platforms for commercialising innovations.”
The next steps for the MBIE/CMDT team is to collate the ideas from the workshop and develop a summary to be shared with the participants within the next month. This will be used to prioritise initiatives to get underway.
Read the NZ Health Research Strategy here – https://www.health.govt.nz/publication/new-zealand-health-research-strategy-2017-2027
By Diana Siew,
CMDT Co-chair & MedTech CoRE Associate Director