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NZTech and NZBio combine tech forces

New Zealand is beginning to witness unprecedented opportunities in areas of technology convergence as cutting-edge and world-first technology continues to accelerate and merge.

NZTech chief executive Graeme Muller says New Zealand has a history of innovation in the biotech and biosciences areas, often driven by strong Kiwi foundations in the primary sectors.

So, it is no surprise NZBio is merging with the NZTech Alliance of 18 tech sector areas.

“We have seen biotech companies like Comvita merging their knowledge of a natural product like honey with biotech to create world-leading honey-based medicinal products, Muller says.

“We have also seen New Zealand-founded carbon recycling company Lanzatech merging biotech with manufacturing.

“As biotechnology, high-tech manufacturing and ICT such as artificial intelligence begin to cross over, the New Zealand tech ecosystem is now well placed to identify and support future growth companies through this coming together of NZBio and NZTech.

“At the heart of this amazing period in human history is the convergence of atoms, bits and genes, the ability to use technology to do amazing things like New Zealand’s Revolution Fibres which is using electrospinning to produce collagen nanofibres and create artificial skin.”

NZBio chief executive Dr Zahra Champion says merging with NZTech was a natural fit.

“In today’s world, the importance of biotech is increased in many fields, from medicines to agriculture, from animal husbandry to textiles, from defenceless to energetic,” Dr Champion says.

“New Zealand is fragmented across all sectors with large number of industry bodies across all sectors. We are seeing the blurring of the lines between bioscience and technology.”

Biotech is everything bio-based such as bioscience, biochemistry, biotechnology, biomanufacturing and life sciences within the agritech, health diagnostics and therapeutics, industrial, environmental and foodtech sectors.

Dr Champion says the industry brings with it high-paying jobs and innovative ideas in an industry that encompasses a huge diversity of applications and being part of the NZTech Alliance, will enable us to maximise New Zealand’s’ bio-base technology capability to create a strong and prosperous New Zealand bio economy.

More than 70 percent of New Zealand’s export earnings are derived from biology-based industries spanning human and animal health, agriculture, horticulture and other natural products. Exports include finished products and ingredients destined for the food, cosmetics, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical industries.

The OECD has estimated the potential contribution of the bio-economy to New Zealand’s GDP
Will climb to $NZ182 billion by 2030.

For further information contact  Make Lemonade editor-in-chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188.

Photo: Zahra Champion

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