The Germany-NZ collaboration: Opening doors to opportunities

New Zealand has a dynamic and growing medical technology industry. Key to this are bright ideas from the medtech community that can be translated into clinical use that are saleable in the global market. Innovation is supported by the relative ease of developing, prototyping and testing technologies locally. The New Zealand medtech industry however, is faced with challenges to be able to scale and accelerate quickly due to funding and distance to international markets.

A solution is to develop strategic relationships with players in international export markets that are important to New Zealand. With Brexit looming, ties with Germany could be the gateway to strengthen our standing in the European and global markets. Germany is the largest producer of medtech in Europe and the third largest in the world. Our ties with Germany are 40 years-old and we are able to leverage this to build our medtech sector. Germany is interested in new innovative technologies of which there are many from New Zealand. Coupled with this is our complementary science expertise including physiological computational modelling and soft robotics. German companies offer scale-up manufacturing and channels to market. Collaborating with Germany also brings opportunities to our companies and researchers to participate in EU-funded projects as well as access to experts to help navigate the regulatory hurdles that are in place.

The Binational Institute for Knowledge Engineering in Medicine was recently founded by Professor Dr Knut Moeller (Institute of Technical Medicine, Furtwangen University) with Professor Merryn Tawhai and Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase from the MedTech CoRE to facilitate industry and research networks between the two countries. Our BIKEM partners from Germany attended the HealthTech Week earlier this month to gain a better understanding of the NZ medtech capabilities and offerings, and were pleasantly surprised by the interest from our industry.

If you would like to get in touch with our German counterparts, please contact MedTech CoRE ([email protected]).

MedTech CoRE's partners from Germany - (L-R) Dr Gunnar Grah from Baden-Württemberg International, Dr Jacquelyn Dawn Parente and Professor Dr Knut Möller from BIKEM