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Biotech superheroes! 

November 2022 | Biotech superheroes! Thank you to our sector’s stars

In this issue

  • Insights from our Executive Director 
  • BioTechNZ news 
  • Biotech for a better tomorrow

Insights from the Executive Director 

Earlier this month, I was delighted to attend Bridgewest’s Impact Innovation Conference. While I was there, I wondered why it seems so difficult to grow the biotech sector? Considering we have all the ingredients in New Zealand for a strong biotech sector, it shouldn’t be so hard!

I believe it’s because during the last decade or more, our growth has been left to individuals – lone voices in central and local government agencies, in industry bodies, key individuals in venture capital firms and business people building their own biotech companies. At recent conferences, including the Ausbiotech Conference I’ve met many of these individuals. You know who you are and I applaud you for your passion and what you have personally done for this sector!  

It’s this dedication and determination that has collectively created a network that is exciting and of value to our local and international venture groups. This interest in our sector is also helping nudge biotech to the next level. These groups of people understand the value of smart ideas and people, Aotearoa’s competitive advantage and the speed that’s required to stay relevant. They also understand science (especially how biology and technology works together to create solutions to our global problems) and create the right teams to ensure delivery of a commercial product/service. 

I am really excited about the future of biotech in Aotearoa, but our work is not done yet! I look forward to meeting all of you at next year’s Life Sciences Summit, 22-23 March. It’s the ideal opportunity to show New Zealand the scale and impact of our sector and what we are truly capable of. We will also be taking the opportunity to ask the Government to better support and value biotech, with greater funding opportunities and creating more effective policies to leverage our competitive advantages.  Together, these factors will help enable us to create solutions for a better tomorrow. 

BioTechNZ news 

Gene Editing in New Zealand

I am always interested in reports looking at public perception of gene editing, and a report by Research First highlighted ‘GM use in medicine receives more support than GM use in food production. However, a third would support GM fresh fruit and vegetables being for sale in New Zealand.’

Valuing biology’s contribution to the economy

International scientists are calling for global paradigm change to mitigate the consequences of climate change.  In a statement for Nature the chairs of the International Advisory Council on Global Bioeconomy (IACGB) reference the current Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which for the first time highlights the value of a biological contribution to the economy.

“The bioeconomy will enhance coordinated action against climate change in all areas of life”, write the chairs of IACGB, Professor Dr Christine Lang (Germany), Dr Julius Ecuru (Kenya), and Dr Elspeth MacRae (New Zealand).

Networking Events

The sprint to the end of the year is on, so if you haven’t registered for our regional events, please do. Join BioTechNZ this month in Auckland, Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington.

View all our events here.

Biotech for a better tomorrow!

BioTechNZ LifeSciences Summit

22-23 March 2023, Wellington 

Thank you to all the speakers and sponsors our team have been working with ahead of our 2023 Life Sciences Summit. During the next month we will be releasing more about our programme including speaker announcements and discussion topics. Don’t forget to secure your member discount and register to attend  now.

Celebrating 2022!

You’re invited to join our end of year festivities in collaboration with the BioScience Enterprise Programme, The University of Auckland. There’s plenty to celebrate in the biotech, medtech, pharmaceutical and digital health sectors. Please join us on 8 December, register here.

Ngā mihi
Zahra Champion
Executive Director

PS:  Don’t forget to share your news and success stories with us and we can celebrate together!

READ MORE: Biotech superheroes!

BioTechNZ Our aim is to raise awareness and increase the understanding to enable our nation to embrace the best opportunities biotech offers to us daily, helping us live better, healthier and more productive lives.