WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2018
Giving life to the Health Research Strategy
New Zealand now has its first national health research strategy aimed at developing a world-leading health research and
innovation system by 2027.
Dr Diana Siew of the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT), hosted by the University of Auckland’s
Bioengineering Institute (ABI), says the goal of the new strategy is to create a system that improves the health and
wellbeing of all New Zealanders, supported by a vibrant research and innovation environment.
The CMDT is a national medtech research-industry network led by a partnership of the universities of Auckland,
Canterbury and Otago, Victoria University of Wellington and Callaghan Innovation.
“The strategy begins with actions to encourage researchers, industry and health providers to collaborate and work with
communities and people," says Dr Siew. "It is supported by four guiding principles around research excellence,
transparency, partnership with Māori and collaboration for impact.”
In late August, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) and CMDT brought together 50 researchers,
health providers and clinicians, companies, funders and government organisations involved in medtech to brainstorm ideas
to achieving these actions.
“The workshop showed a clear willingness from all stakeholders to work together to improve the national ecosystem by
ensuring existing and new initiatives are clearly visible to all,” says Dr Siew.
“The group is keen to identify and highlight key connectors in the sector, pathways for research, commercialisation,
funding and investment, and matching of expertise and needs. This will 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, says the Ministry is proud to
support the strategy reach its commercial goals. “Our role is to support transformative and innovative ideas, create
more industry partnerships and strengthen platforms for commercialising innovations – and we’re really looking forward
to making progress in these areas.”
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.