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Hon Dr Ayesha Verrall

Associate Minister of Health

Dr Ayesha Verrall is the Associate Minister of Health, Associate Minister of Research, Science and Innovation, Minister for Food Safety and Minister for Seniors
Ayesha is an infectious diseases doctor. She attended medical school at the University of Otago and worked as a junior doctor at Wellington hospital. Ayesha completed her specialist training in Singapore and researched tuberculosis in Indonesia.She is passionate about preventing illness so that every New Zealander can enjoy good health and live a free and full life.




Dr Nada Signal

Associate Professor and Associate Head of Research for the School of Clinical Sciences

Dr Nada Signal is an Associate Professor and Associate Head of Research for the School of Clinical Sciences. Nada is a Principal Investigator with the Medical Technologies Centre for Research Excellence and recipient of a New Zealand Health Research Council Emerging Researcher Award (2019) and the AUT Vice-Chancellor's Award for Research Excellence-Emerging Researcher (2019). Her research focuses on innovation in rehabilitation clinical practice and the development of novel technologies to augment rehabilitation.



Greg Shanahan

Founder and Managing Director TIN

As captain of the TIN team, Greg’s dedication and passion for the technology sector led him to establish Technology Investment Network (TIN) in 1999. Under his direction, the TIN Report has enjoyed growing recognition and influence since its inception in 2005. Greg oversees the report content each year.
A well-known figure in the high-tech sector, Greg’s background includes a decade working in marketing management roles for Fisher & Paykel (in NZ and the US). His in-depth industry knowledge is underpinned by his role as co-founder and MD of high-tech medical device company Veriphi.




Nigel Sharplin

Founder and Managing Director of InFact

As Founder and Managing Director of InFact for the last 23 years, Nigel has directed the delivery of more than 400 new technology products to market for New Zealand export manufacturing companies, CRIs and entrepreneurs.  InFact’s values have directed the business toward socially and environmentally ethical client projects thereby creating real sense of purpose and meaning in the work.
Nigel has developed a strong innovation and commercialisation focus for the InFact business, and its large team of designers and engineers use customer-centered design methods to innovate technology into commercially viable outcomes.  As a BetterByDesign coach, Nigel also spent 10 years working with industry helping to bring design thinking to life for other New Zealand tech companies.
Having established four start-ups across medical, forestry, IOT and design sectors, Nigel intimately understands the challenges of translating important research and science into products that will change customer mindsets, thereby allowing the adoption of these new technologies at scale.  He firmly believes that working with collaborators, partners, customers and end users is the only true way to evolve sustainable and desirable product outcomes that can make a difference in the world.


Phil Scott B.Sc (Hons)

Business Unit Leader - Surgical, Urology and Gynaecology

Phil has been in the Medical Devices Industry for over 15 years. During this time he has built up his expertise and knowledge across multiple clinical disciplines in Trauma & Orthopaedics, General surgery, Cardiothoracic, Urology and Gynaecology. Originally from the UK, Phil relocated with his family to NZ to take up a position with Obex Medical in 2012. He is passionate about healthcare and is driven by that passion to seek out and bring  quality  and innovative technologies to the NZ  market, that will ultimately improve clinical outcomes for our customers and their patients.


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.



Robyn Whittaker

Public Health Physician and Clinical Director Innovation

Robyn is a public health physician and Clinical Director Innovation at Waitemata DHB’s Institute for Innovation and Improvement. She is also Assoc Prof at the National Institute for Health Innovation (NIHI) at the University of Auckland. Her research interests are in developing mHealth interventions to be delivered to people directly using their mobile phones.



Sarah Najdek

General Manager & Country Director, Medical New Zealand

Sarah is a driven and commercially astute senior leader with more than 20 years of strategic sales, marketing and medical affairs expertise across the manufacturing, medical device and pharmaceutical industries in Australia, New Zealand and Asia.
Prior to being appointed to the role of General Manager & Country Director, Medical New Zealand, Sarah relocated to Singapore in the position of APAC Senior Director for Ethicon’s largest platform, Wound Closure & Repair (WC&R). Sarah was a member of Ethicon’s Global and Regional Leadership Team. During this period, Sarah played an integral role in shaping the global WC&R strategy, accelerating market access in APAC through real world evidence, surgeon education and shaping future product and service innovation.
Sarah has held diverse senior leadership roles across Johnson & Johnson Medical and Janssen, in the disease state/specialty areas of General Surgery, Bariatrics, Orthopedics, Diabetes Management, Oncology, Immunology and Medical Affairs. Over her 14 years at J&J, Sarah and her teams have partnered closely with Health Economics and Government Affairs and Policy to accelerate market access and overcome reimbursement challenges.
Sarah is passionate about Women in Leadership in Med Tech and was a founding committee member of J&J’s ANZ Diversity and Inclusion ERG and strategy.
Sarah has a Bachelor of Business (Marketing) from University of Technology, Sydney, and a Master of Business Administration (with High Distinction) from Charles Sturt University. Sarah was also a graduate from the J&J ASCEND Global Women Senior Leadership Program in 2018.



Sarah S. Chang

Global Director, Environmental Sustainability Medical Devices Johnson & Johnson

As the Global Director of Environmental Sustainability focused on Medical Devices, Sarah translates the value of Johnson & Johnson’s extensive product stewardship and environmental sustainability successes to the company’s customers and stakeholders.  Her focus has been on partnering with hospitals and working together towards common sustainability goals. In late 2019, she launched an Environmental Sustainability e-Learning Module for US Nurses that is worth 1 Continuing Education Unit available on Johnson & Johnson Institute. She continues to garner Johnson & Johnson enterprise assets and global initiatives to unlock further value for the company, reduce customers’ operational costs, and drive improved patient care.
B.A. in Economics and International Relations from the University of Pennsylvania
Master of Science in Organizational Dynamics from the University of Pennsylvania


Tara Creaven-Capasso


With 30 years of international commercialisation experience, Tara is a Regulatory and Quality executive delivering successful outcomes to the global Medical Device and Health Technology sectors. She is co-founder of:

  • Covid-19 Corporation Ltd. (NZ), a R&D COVID-19 vaccine company (2020).
  • Caduceus Medical Development, Ltd. (NZ), a NZ based consulting firm (2014), with offices in the US since 2010.
  • Regulatory Affairs Professionals Society (RAPS) NZ Networking Group (2018).

    Tara is a:

  • Member of RAPS
  • Recognised SME, invited international speaker and educator with RAPS;
  • Member of the Society of Quality Assurance (SQA);
  • Member of Life Science New Zealand;
  • Regulatory Advisor  to government and industry.

Commercial highlights  include but are not limited to successes in:

  • Approval of 70+ health technology products in all major markets world-wide;
  • Guiding technology innovators through the complex regulatory process resulting in viable health products;
  • Regulatory strategy and pathway development including expedited programs, from late discovery through late clinical trial and approval phases;
  • Develop and maintain positive working relationships with government agencies and key stakeholders;
  • Strategic alignment of quality management systems (QMS) to ensure start-up ventures deliver adequately compliant products; while giving the business much needed flexibility.
  • Trainer with the British Standards Institute (BSI) – European Notified Body.

In 2020 I was honoured by receiving an elected fellowship to RAPS for my significant contributions (in education and product realization to the community in global regulatory sciences) and leadership in advancing the regulatory profession.


Jonathan Lucas

Head of James & Wells’ Patents Team specialising in medical technology

Jonathan heads James & Wells’ Patents Team specialising in medical technology, mechanical engineering, electronics, physics, telecommunications, and software. He has a strong academic background in physics and many years’ patent attorney experience working across all these fields. He specialises in drafting patent specifications, prosecuting patent applications, handling patent oppositions, providing opinions and supporting patent litigation for many local and multi-national companies. 
Jonathan is an Associate member of the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ) and provides regular seminars educating the New Zealand health-tech industry on the value of intellectual property.
He is a former Council Member of the New Zealand Institute of Patent Attorneys and is a representative on IPONZ’s Patents Technical Focus Group. Jonathan is also a regular contributor to New Zealand’s leading text on intellectual property law, Intellectual Property Law in New Zealand.


Ross Pearce

Programme Manager Design at Callaghan Innovation

Session: 10 Types of Innovation

Ross is a passionate innovation leader with 30+ years of innovation leadership and product development experience focused on identifying, creating, and delivering compelling value.

Ross defines innovation as “the discipline of creating value". Throughout his career, he has helped many New Zealand and Australian businesses to achieve successful commercial outcomes through clear focused actions, practical execution, and robust innovation discipline.

He has led innovation and design efforts across a wide range of technologies and HVMS sectors that include medical, scientific, automotive, consumer, computer, electronic, security, refrigeration, marine, heating, juvenile, gaming, communication, furniture, retail, logistics, and vending.

Prior to moving into executive innovation leadership roles, Ross ran his own full-service product development consultancy in Australia for 10 years. Konstrukt was an early champion of diverse collaboration and the use of emerging digital design technologies that included advanced parametric CAD, digital visualisation, and 3D printing.

A creative strategic thinker, Ross has a passion for understanding new thinking around innovation practice and effectively adapting and applying that to help New Zealand businesses deliver profitable growth.


Andrew Clews

Head of Health Technology at Callaghan Innovation

Session: Health Tech Activator as part of What is Happening in the MedTech Sector?

Andrew Clews is Callaghan Innovation’s Head of Health Technology and leads the sector team working to support NZ based HealthTech businesses in commercialising their R&D. Andrew represents Callaghan Innovation as part of the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT) and sits on the steering committee of the NZ Health Research Strategy (NZHRS). As New Zealand’s innovation agency, Callaghan Innovation works with ambitious businesses of all sizes, delivering a range of innovation and research and development (R&D) services to suit each stage of their growth. Callaghan Innovation works with more than 200 Health Technology businesses via the HealthTech Activator (HTA) an initiative to deliver advice, funding support, capability building programmes and connections across the HealthTech sector. 

Andrew joined Callaghan Innovation in 2014 following more than 16 years in the US working in complex sectors as diverse as electromechanical devices and life sciences. He has a background in business internationalisation and the commercialisation of new technology, new products and new brands in complex categories. Andrew has held senior management and leadership team roles in a wide variety of organisations from major corporates to startups and IPO-focused growth companies.


Prof Peter Hunter

Director of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute

As Director of the Auckland Bioengineering Institute and Professor of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland, Peter Hunter is helping to develop standards based physiological models and the use of computational methods for understanding the integrated physiological function of the body in terms of the structure and function of tissues, cells and proteins.



Dr Yeri Kim

Strategic Health Initiatives Adviser ACC

Yeri trained as a biomedical scientist where she invented a new method of treatment for eye diseases. As a scientist, Yeri worked at the interface of translational research and commercial development. Following her PhD, Yeri joined a private health insurance company to develop a framework to assess the value of novel health technologies for reimbursement.  
Yeri joined ACC in 2019 to advise on strategic health initiatives to improve health outcomes of ACC’s clients. Yeri has now joined the Private Markets Investment team to establish an impact investment portfolio that has dual objectives to improve health, safety and wellbeing of New Zealanders while providing a risk-adjusted investment return. 




Assoc Prof Rocco Pitto

Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Auckland

Session: Clinical Research Brought to Life

Dr. Pitto’s clinical practice focuses on total hip replacement through both anterior and posterior approaches, and total knee replacement using computer-assisted technologies. Dr. Pitto also has extensive experience in revision total hip and knee joint replacement.

Dr. Pitto is very committed to teaching (and learning from!) residents and colleagues and has received several honours in his career.  He has received the SICOT Trainees Award in 1991, the John Charnley Award of the Hip Society in 1998, the Best Poster Award of the Hip Society in 1999, the Best Paper Award of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons in 2006, and the John Insall Award of the Knee Society in 2017.

Dr. Pitto is particularly active in the clinical research area of hip surgery and in the promotion of education and research in orthopaedics. 2006, he was elected President of the AO-ASIF Alumni, New Zealand Chapter (Association for the Study of Internal Fixation). He is active member of the International Hip Society and currently President of the Association of Bone and Joint Surgeons. 


Kevin Roos (Ngāti Saami/Ngāti Toarangatira)

Iwi United Engaged

Dr. Kevin Roos (Ngāti Saami/Ngāti Toarangatira)
Kev coordinates research projects and management, literature generation, development of materials and applications, and presents workshops. His love of languages provides a unique view into many indigenous cultures allowing him to translate world views and map frameworks across the myriad of research topics , particularly into relevant Te Tiriti partnerships. 




Misty Edmonds

Registered Nurse, Iwi United Engaged

Misty Edmonds (Ngāti Tuwharetoa) 
A Registered nurse and CEO of Iwi United Engaged, has over 25 years of community engagement of Māori with the university, researchers, and clinicians across a spectrum of health care fields and venues.  Central to her success is a Kaupapa Māori approach to engagement, consultation and cultural safety, providing workshops, project management, focus groups and bridging the technological divide  -building partnerships.




Professor Susan Morton

Director of University of Auckland cross-faculty Centre for Longitudinal Research - He Ara ki Mua

Professor Susan Morton is an expert in life course epidemiology and a specialist in Public Health Medicine. She is the Director of the University of Auckland cross-faculty Centre for Longitudinal Research - He Ara ki Mua, and has been the Director (PI) of the contemporary longitudinal study of NZ children and families (Growing Up in New Zealand) since its inception in 2005. In 2021 she transitioned to a role of Foundation Director of the study.  The study follows 6853 children (born in 2009-2010) in the context of their families and the NZ environment. Her team engages with 16 government agencies to provide evidence to inform cross-sectoral policies to improve population wellbeing and solutions to reduce inequities in life course outcomes.



Dr Diana Siew

Strategic Partnerships Lead at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI)

Dr Diana Siew is Strategic Partnerships Lead at the Auckland Bioengineering Institute (ABI) and connects people to initiate new business. In the last 10 years, her career has revolved around science management, strategy and early stage commercialisation. She loves working with early stage start-ups and is advisor to several medical devices and digital health companies. 
Diana co-founded and co-leads the Consortium for Medical Device Technologies (CMDT) and is an Associate Director of the MedTech Centre of Research Excellence. She works closely with stakeholder partners to create a stronger ecosystem to support healthtech innovation in New Zealand and has been instrumental in the development and implementation of several strategic initiatives including Healthtech Week, Women in HealthTech, the Trans-Tasman BioBridge and the 2020 Healthtech Insights Report with TIN. 
Diana sits on the Return on Science Medical Tec and Surgery Committee, the Advisory Board to the HealthTech Activator, and on the Board of Creative HQ.



Faye Sumner CNZM


Faye Sumner is the Chief Executive Officer for the Medical Technology Association of New Zealand (MTANZ). As CEO, she has been at the forefront of negotiations with the Government in the development of proposed New Zealand medical device therapeutic regulations and the move to centralized procurement of medical devices for New Zealand. 

In the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours, Faye was appointed Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (CNZM) for her services to the medical technology sector.

Faye introduced a Code of Practice for the NZ medical technology industry in 2005 with the guidelines now well accepted by industry, healthcare professionals and procurement agencies

Faye was a member of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Code of Business Ethics for Medical Devices Expert Working Group that developed the 2011 Kuala Lumpur Principles and continues today as a leader and mentor for this APEC initiative to establish ethical business practices within the APEC medical device communities. 

Faye is a Board member of the Global Medical Technology Alliance (GMTA), an international body of global associations that engages directly with the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

Faye is a Trustee of the University of Auckland, Medical & Health Sciences Foundation, and a member of the University’s MedTech Centre of Research Excellence Governing Board. Faye is a Board member of the Government’s NZ Standards Approval Board, deputy Chair of the NZ Heart Foundation and Chair of the Heart Health Trust.



Dr Andrew Paterson

Customer Manager Health Sector, Callaghan Innovation

Andrew is a Customer Manager for Health and Digital companies at Callaghan Innovation. He works with NZ health companies and assists them with their R&D and commercialisation activities by connecting them with funding, expertise and opportunities. Andrew has been on the Health Tech Week organising committee since 2018.




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