Sunday, April 14, 2024

$8.1m funding for science to life solutions

The Government will invest $8.1 million in ‘Te Tītoki Mataora’ the MedTech Research Translator, over three years to deliver new medical tools and meet both the demands of a global pandemic and of a growing and aging population, Associate Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, Ayesha Verrall announced today.

“COVID-19 has shown that we need to build a more resilient, productive, innovative and economically-sustainable health system,” Dr Verrall said.

“Te Tītoki Mataora harnesses New Zealand’s bioengineering and healthcare expertise. It is a new programme for translating the findings from publicly-funded research into solutions for unmet clinical needs.

“This will enable improvements in personalised care, diagnostics and therapy, and result in more equitable healthcare outcomes for New Zealanders.

“The programme will fund expertise and activities at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute, which aims to get medical technology research off the bench and into business. It will facilitate the development of collaborative projects across New Zealand universities.”

Each project will have a researcher, clinician and commercialisation expert on the team. The programme will accelerate the most promising projects by providing pre-seed funding to researchers, she said.

“This fund will also contribute to New Zealand’s economic recovery from COVID-19, by supporting the growth of the medical technology sector,” Dr Verrall said.

The medical technology sector is New Zealand’s second-largest secondary industry, valued at $1.9 billion in 2019 when health-tech accounted for 11% of the nation’s top 200 tech businesses.

“This important investment supports the incredible work our researchers and scientists do every day. People are central to our scientific community, and excellent people lead to excellent research and outcomes.”

“Diversity creates the best competition of ideas and provides wider perspectives that reflect the needs of our diverse society. We want to ensure that Te Tītoki Mataora lives up to its name with strong Māori and Pasifika partnerships underpinning new research – focusing on co-created technologies that rebalance health inequities,” Minister Verrall said.

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