Article source: Ayesha Siddiqui, BioSpectrum Asia
New Zealand's medical technology industry is experiencing rapid growth. In 2022, the Technology Investment Network (TIN) reported that 17 MedTech companies ranked among the country's top 200 technology firms. A mix of established and emerging innovators is addressing challenging issues, from innovative surgical techniques to AI-driven micro-implantable devices. This transformation is fuelled by substantial support from both the government and private sector. Let's delve into the details of New Zealand's thriving MedTech ecosystem.
From a burgeoning industry with a handful of homegrown companies to a powerhouse boasting over 200 players, the New Zealand MedTech sector is booming and the sector is worth around $2.1 billion, according to Uniservices.
New Zealand aims to be the leader in the MedTech space and has announced various initiatives and programmes to that extent.
“The New Zealand Government supports and invests in a range of projects, partnerships and programmes across the science, innovation and technology system,” said Danette Olsen, General Manager Science System Investment and Performance, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE), New Zealand.
MedTech-iQ Aotearoa, a national innovation collaboration, aims to accelerate the success of the New Zealand MedTech sector. It's a ‘world-first’ initiative targetting the $815 billion global medical device and digital health market. This virtual hub, linked to physical hubs in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, employs a strategic, country-wide approach to enhance New Zealand's economic and physical health outcomes through MedTech collaboration and innovation. Deloitte Access Economics estimates a $1.5 billion increase in NZ's GDP by 2050 through MedTech-iQ.
In October 2021, the government announced an investment of $8.1 million over three years in Te Tītoki Mataora, the MedTech Research Translator. The 18-month-old (as of April 2023) programme has already awarded $2.27 million in early seed funding to 40 projects nationwide.
“Government-funded MedTech initiatives include the Te Tītoki Mataora (TTM) MedTech Research Translator, which is hosted by the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) on behalf of the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies – a collaborative partnership between the University of Auckland, University of Otago, University of Canterbury and Callaghan Innovation. This deep tech research translator focuses on the translation of research that addresses healthcare needs and improves the equity of access to care and outcomes,” said Danette Olsen.