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Speakers

Staff

Adam Hutchinson

Founder of oVRcome

Adam Hutchinson is a Christchurch based technology entrepreneur, having founded the NZ Fishing Rules app, CamperMate (acquired by THL in 2015) and oVRcome. oVRcome was launched in 2021 and is used in 35 countries, offering clinically proven virtual reality exposure therapy which helps users overcome phobias (flying, needles, spiders and more), social anxiety and panic disorder.

Staff

Sir Ashley Bloomfield

Professor, University of Auckland | Co-Chair, WHO Working Group

Sir Ashley Bloomfield trained in medicine at the University of Auckland and specialised in public health medicine. His key areas of professional interest are non-communicable disease prevention and control, tobacco control, and addressing equity. He has 25 years’ experience in public policy and health leadership, including at the World Health Organization in Geneva. He was New Zealand’s Director-General of Health from June 2018 to July 2022 and led the country’s health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He was appointed a Knights Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (KNZM) in the 2023 New Year Honours for services to public health. Dr Bloomfield is now a Professor at the University of Auckland's School of Population Health and Co-Chair of the WHO Working Group on Amendments to the International Health Regulations.



Staff

Brian Russell

Entrepreneur

Brian is a technology strategist and entrepreneur with a passion for medical technology applied to human machine teaming. He founded and served as CEO of Zephyr Technology Corp, a MedTech company deployed into US military and Hospitals. During that time he worked with organizations such as Under Armour, Motorola, 3M and NASA. Brian's technical expertise includes optics, silicon chip design, FDA medical product development, and AI modelling. He has advised Return on Science investment committees, SfTi, Dept of Homeland Security and held research positions with NASA's Human Research Program. Brian runs a technology strategy consulting company, AI product company, and is a research associate at AUT SPRINZ and Honouree Academic at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute.

Staff

Dr Caz Hales

Senior Lecturer at Victoria University of Wellington

Dr Caz Hales is a nurse academic whose research focuses on advancing safe healthcare practices and equitable services for people living with obesity (PlwO). Her work explores patient and staff factors that impact on quality of care, patients’ experiences, and patient and staff safety, to address educational needs and attitudes of healthcare professionals when providing care to PlwO. Caz specialises in clinical and translational healthcare research that focuses on healthcare processes, technology design and use, that require environmental and educational considerations.  Caz works closely with PlwO, whānau/family, and communities in the development of equitable obesity care services.



Staff

Chandra Selvadurai

Managing Director Pharmaco (NZ & Australia) Ltd. | Te Tītoki Mataora Board Chair

Chandra Selvadurai leads the Trans-Tasman operations of Pharmaco, a company specialising in the sales, marketing, warehousing and distribution of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, dental, emergency care & healthcare products and services. 

Chandra was appointed CEO of Pharmaco in 2013, and became the Managing Director in 2017. He serves as the Chairman of the board(s) of Te Titoki Mataora in New Zealand and of Agamatrix USA Inc.

He is a passionate advocate about the need to bring exceptional, life-changing and life-enhancing healthcare products to New Zealand and Australia, and making a difference in people’s lives.



Staff

Charles Beasley

Podcast Host, Good Clinical Podcast

Since completing a Master of Bioscience Enterprise degree in 2014, Charles has dedicated his career to furthering the development of novel medicines in across various roles in the field of Clinical Research. 

Good Clinical Network has been established to highlight the amazing work that goes on every day in the advancement of medicine and human health, and as part of an initiative to see more R&D and commercialization in this field, and more collaboration throughout the motu. With a passion for connecting key players in the industry and an interest in facilitating the conversation around exciting projects and stories of how these evolved to be - the Good Clinical Podcast was born. 

With a love for podcasts himself and a background in hosting events and managing teams, hosting the podcast was a natural fit for Charles and since starting the podcast, has seen some incredible growth and discussion in this space with plenty more to come!


Staff

Daniel Xu

Co-Founder of ElementX

Daniel Xu is the co-founder of Spark 64, now ElementX, an artificial intelligence agency helping organisations leverage AI to do things faster, cheaper and smarter. In addition, Daniel chairs the Return on Science Physical Sciences Investment Committee, and he was the founding chair of Momentum, the country's first student-led investment committee. 

Staff

Denise Taylor

Professor, AUT

Denise is a Professor of Physiotherapy at Auckland University of Technology (AUT). Originally from the UK, she has lived for 20+ years in NZ. Denise is Director of the Health and Rehabilitation Research Institute and leads a team of researchers, The REHABILITATION INNOVATON CENTRE who are interested in neurological rehabilitation. She is a Co-Leader of Te Titoki Mataora (National medtech research acceleration programme) and represents AUT on the Medtech-iQ Tāmaki Makaurau leadership team and has a position on the Medtech-iQ national stewardship group. Her interests are broadly in rehabilitation and specifically in balance, bringing new technologies and treatments to people with neurological and vestibular disorders.

Staff

Dr Diana Siew

Strategic Relationship Manager at Auckland Bioengineering Institute

Diana is the Co-founder of the Consortium of Medical Device Technologies (CMDT) and Co-lead of both Te Tītoki Mataora MedTech Research Translator (TTM) and Medtech-iQ Aotearoa. She plays a pivotal role in developing the NZ ecosystem for research translation and nurturing early stage startups. Through her leadership, Diana spearheads national initiatives aimed at fostering collaborative partnerships within New Zealand's MedTech sector, both locally and globally. Her efforts are focused on cultivating talent and a robust pipeline of opportunities that contribute to improvements in health, social well-being, and economic growth. Diana is also a Director of Pharmac and Creative HQ.



Staff

Dr Edgar Rodriguez

Associate Professor and Leader of Interaction Design

Dr. Edgar Rodríguez, VUW's School of Design Associate Professor, leads the Tangible IX Lab, crafting physical and digital solutions to enhance user experiences. With design roles at Samsung Electronics (Seoul), Sismo Design (Paris), Studio Santachiara (Milan), his work impacts millions. Edgar's research focuses on therapy engagement via smart medical devices, AR/VR apps, aiding conditions from stroke rehab to pelvic floor disorders. His designs, from health games for Māori communities to award-winning MRI devices, garner international recognition and publication. Collaborating with top universities globally, he delivers world-class education, equipping students to create meaningful societal impacts.

Staff

Fiona Rotherham

Senior Journalist with NBR

Fiona Rotherham is a senior journalist with NBR, the country’s premium business website. She has been a journalist for over 40 years, focused mainly on business. Her most recent role prior to rejoining NBR was as editor of startup Caffeine which was focused on startup founders and Fiona’s other roles include co-editor at NBR, head of Stuff business nationally, editor of The Independent business weekly and Unlimited magazine which focused on entrepreneurs. 

Staff

Fraser Liggett

Economic Development Manager, Enterprise Dunedin

Fraser has over twenty years experience in economic development, policy and project management in the New Zealand and United Kingdom. He has held economic development, policy and management roles with the London Development Agency, Olympic Delivery Authority/London 2012, London Borough of Southwark and Westminster, the New Zealand Treasury and most recently with Enterprise Dunedin. As Economic Development Manager with Enterprise Dunedin, Fraser has developed effective working relationships with city, regional, national, and global stakeholders (including Te Pukenga, University of Otago and Business South) in the implementation of the Dunedin 2013-23 Economic Development Strategy. Current and past activities include:

  • Ongoing development of a business case to support a digital interactive health ecosystem in Dunedin.
  • Gaming through the New Zealand Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE)
  • Business start-ups and entrepreneurship
  • Research, science, and innovation
  • Regional economic development via Otago Regional Economic Development (ORED)
  • Shanghai and Edinburgh sister city relationships.
  • Export logistics
  • Screen and film
  • International education


Staff

Fuafiva Fa’alau

Senior Lecturer Pacific Health, University of Auckland

Talofa lava, my name is Fuafiva Fa’alau; I was born in Samoa and migrated to New Zealand at 19. I work at the Pacific Health Unit at the School of Population Health, University of Auckland. I am a social scientist; I spent most of my university years studying social science. The name of one discipline on my university qualification does not define me. I am a product of all trades. I view issues and circumstances from different social science lenses. I studied courses in Anthropology, Law, Sociology, Education, Social work, Psychology, Māori Studies, and Pacific Health. Combining and weaving these lenses gave me multilayered, multifaceted, and diverse knowledge and experience.

Staff

Heba Khamis

CEO and co-founder of Contactile

Heba Khamis is a researcher, engineer and entrepreneur who has made significant contributions to the field of robotics and bio-inspired tactile sensors. She holds a PhD in Engineering, a Bachelor's degree in Software Engineering, and a Bachelor's degree in Medical Science. Her work has been focused on developing bio-inspired tactile sensors since 2014, and she is considered a leading expert in this field. Heba is also the CEO and co-founder of Contactile, a UNSW Sydney spin-out that is revolutionising the way robots interact with the world around them. Contactile is enabling robotic dexterity by giving robots a human sense of touch, which is critical for their ability to perform complex tasks and operate in real-world environments.

Staff

Dr Jake Campbell (Te Rarawa)

University of Canterbury

Dr Jake Campbell (Te Rarawa) is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Canterbury. His PhD in Mechanical engineering included the development of non-invasive optical sensing methods for reducing invasiveness of measurements in the NICU. Jake is the technical lead for project LEAPS (funded through TTM and SfTi), taking the research designed in the UC bioengineering lab to commercial development. To commercialise the research, Jake is the CEO of Tautoko Tech, a medical device company spun out of the LEAPS project with a mission to develop an insulin pump to be prescribed after one day, not one year.

 



Staff

Jon Herries

Emerging Health Technology & Innovation at Te Whatu Ora

Jon’s team in Te Whatu Ora/Health New Zealand work on bringing new technology to the health system faster. This ranges from building mobile apps for consumers, to helping build test data for wearables, to building AI to support clinical decision making. His team is also focused on collaborating and supporting others through sharing what is going on across Te Whatu Ora, engaging with interested people in the eHealth Forum and helping run the innovation studios, funnel and fund while also working closely with our partners in Medtech-iQ Aotearoa. Jon has a background in physiotherapy and health economics, but is most at home when working on some data or a design for a new solution.

 

 



Staff

Ju Zhang

Founder & CEO of Formus Labs

Ju is the founder and CEO of Formus Labs and a passionate believer in the power of computational biomechanics to improve orthopedic practice. Ju has a PhD in Bioengineering from the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and conducted post-doctoral research at the ABI, Imperial College London, and Stanford University on the way to building Formus Labs.



Staff

Kent Lee

Senior Investment Manager at Auckland UniServices

Kent is a Senior Investment Manager at Auckland UniServices. Since joining the Commercialisation and Investment team in 2015, Kent has helped grow the Medtech startup ecosystem with the help of the Auckland Inventors’ Fund into a fast-growing sector with a portfolio of companies valued at $175m. With a background in Medical Biochemistry and a Masters in Commercialisation and Entrepreneurship, Kent shares his experience as a non-executive Director in Medtech startups and as a guest lecturer in the Masters of BioScience Entreprise and Master of Engineering Studies programmes. Kent has been involved in the commercial successes of companies such as Alimetry, Insides Company, Apercure, JUNOFEM, AVASA, Kitea and Toku eyes.

Staff

Kiriti Rambhatla

Founder and CEO of Metakosmos

Kiriti is an emerging technologies & innovation specialist. He is the architect of Kosmosuit, the next-generation spacesuit technology. Before founding Metakosmos, he was the Head of Emerging Technologies at LinkedIn (Microsoft group).

Kiriti holds a Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master's degree in Business Administration from Politecnico Di Milano. He also holds executive certificates from London Business School & MIT USA. He has spoken at the European Commission, TedX, ANZ Biobridge & Avalon International Airshow, Indian Space Conclave & CSIRO. He has been selected as a finalist for “Innovator of the Year” at the Australian Space Awards.



Staff

Madeleine Martin

Manager of the Health Technology Centre

Madeleine is the Manager of the Health Technology Centre in Ōtautahi and has been working in the health technology sector for 15 years. Madeleine began her career at Fisher and Paykel Healthcare as a Product Development Engineer before moving to Christchurch as General Manager of the high growth orthopaedic engineering company Ossis. Madeleine is passionate about supporting HealthTech companies to succeed through both connection and collaboration and providing commercialisation support through mentoring and the development of the Health Technology Centre.

Staff

Dr Patricia Rubio-Reyes

Research Fellow and Commercial Project Manager at Malaghan Institute

Patricia is a Research Fellow and Commercial Project Manager at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research. She trained in Molecular Biology at the University of Havana and in Microbiology and Genetics at Massey University. At the Malaghan she co-invented a safety switch and detection marker for cell therapies that she is now in the process of commercialising, in order for cell therapies to become a standard of care and not a last resort treatment.

Staff

Pip Griffin

Executive Officer, Te Papa Hauora Christchurch Health Precinct

Pip is the Executive Officer of Te Papa Hauora, Christchurch Health Precinct. Te Papa Hauora integrates world-class healthcare, research and innovation, tertiary education and industry in Canterbury. Pip leads and facilitates collaborative projects between Precinct partners and the wider Canterbury health system, including development of the Medtech-iQ Waitaha Regional Hub.
Pip has clinical experience in health, working as a Registered Nurse in New Zealand and overseas. She has worked with a range of private and public sector entities in health and tertiary education throughout New Zealand, providing advisory services to support organisations manage risks. She is a board member of Te Tītoki Mataora MedTech Research Translator.

Staff

Reweti Ropiha

CEO, Turanga Health

Mr Reweti Ropiha MNZM Ngāi Tāmanuhiri, Rongowhakaata CEO, Turanga Health is a dynamic and visionary leader whose dedication to community health and well-being has left an indelible mark on Turanga and beyond. With a career spanning several decades, Mr Ropiha has been a driving force behind Turanga Health, an organisation that has faced and overcome numerous challenges, from designing innovative healthcare solutions to navigating the complexities of the COVID-19 pandemic and weathering the fury of cyclones. Mr Ropiha’s leadership has been instrumental in Turanga Health’s ability to adapt, innovate, and continue delivering vital healthcare services to the community. His tireless commitment to improving healthcare access and outcomes has made a profound impact on the lives of those in the Turanga region. Additional to holding a Master of Business Administration from Waikato University, Mr Ropiha has been celebrated as a local hero and recognised with the New Zealand Order of Merit for his outstanding efforts in enhancing the well-being of the community. Mr Rophia will share the remarkable journey of Turanga Health’s adaptability to make a meaningful difference in Tairāwhiti.

Staff

Sarv Taherian

Senior Product Manager at Alimetry

Sarv is a Senior Product Manager at Alimetry. She has a background in psychology and product development using a human centred approach that designs technology solutions with the people who will use them, and has worked in health and medical innovation for 16 years.

Staff

Suse Reynolds

Angel Investor | Chair, Institute of Directors (Wellington)

Suse Reynolds was a founding member of the AANZ Council joining at its inception in 2008. She took up the Executive Director role in 2012, transitioning to Chair in 2020 and stepping down from this role at the end of March 2024. 

In 2005 Suse helped to found AngelHQ, the Wellington region’s angel network and remains on the Board. Today AngelHQ has about 100 members and has invested over $50m into 150+ high-growth startup companies. 

An active angel investor, Suse has over 30 ventures in her portfolio and currently chairs Narrative Muse, a startup bringing representation and belonging to entertainment.  

Suse Chairs the Wellington branch of the Institute of Directors and is on the National Council. 

Suse recently stepped down from the board of CreativeHQ and as a trustee for Project Crimson Trust. Suse was the Deputy Chair of the Government appointed Startup Advisors Council which released the Upstart Nation Report in August 2023.
 


Staff

Professor Tahu Kukutai

Pou Matarua (Co-Director) Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga

Professor Tahu Kukutai, Co-Director of Ngā Pae o te Māramatanga NZ’s Māori Centre of Research Excellence and a distinguished figure at the Te Ngira Institute for Population Research, University of Waikato. Hailing from Ngāti Tiipa, Ngāti Māhanga, Ngāti Kinohaku, Te Aupōuri descent, with degrees in history, sociology and demography. As a world-renowned authority on Indigenous and Māori statistics, her work reshapes perceptions of data among Māori, empowering governance and iwi entities for policy and development. Tahu's leadership extends globally, a recipient of the prestigious 2023 Beatrice Hill Tinsley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society Te Apārangi, Life Member of the Population Association of New Zealand and one of 19 Global Leaders of digital human rights. Tahu's collaborations resonate in academia, policy, and Indigenous communities worldwide.

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