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In a bid to unlock the potential of Wellington’s biomedical sector, Grow Wellington is staging an Innovating for Health Challenge.
The aim of the Challenge is to connect innovations emerging from research and clinical practice across the biomedical sector with entrepreneurial capability and growth capital.
“While the biomedical industry is at an early stage in the region, we do have an abundance of science oriented companies, research and clinical expertise,” says Grow Wellington’s Biomedical Centre of Excellence Manager, Adrian Gregory. “A key goal of the Challenge is for this unrealised potential to be connected with business expertise, to enable research and innovations to be brought to life.”
In New Zealand, and overseas, the biomedical sector is playing an ever increasing role. The healthcare systems increasingly need to deliver high tech patient care and an ageing population demands more patient focused healthcare. This challenging environment provides growing opportunities for the development of innovative healthcare products.
“Grow Wellington has been working on a fresh approach to the development of the region’s Biomedical Centre of Excellence,” says Mr Gregory. “The Challenge and the contribution it will make to the growth of an innovative biomedical, science and technology ecosystem is integral to Grow Wellington’s strategic focus.”
Submissions for the Challenge opened in January 2012 and will close at the end of March. All ideas will be given support with regard to their commercialisation and potential pathways to market. The leading innovation, to be announced in mid-July, will receive $50,000 development funding.
On March 5, as part of the Challenge, a showcase event will be held at the Wellington Regional Hospital to help accelerate connections between biomedical research and healthcare markets. A range of key-note speakers will provide insight into turning research and clinically-based innovations into commercial realities.
“There are around 2,000 research scientists dedicated to increasing the Wellington region’s knowledge base and, in many cases, creating intellectual property,” says Mr Gregory. “Through the Innovating for Health Challenge, Grow Wellington is looking to harness this knowledge base and fast track sector growth from the Wellington region.”