If Australia is the lucky country than New Zealand is the clever country and it’s no wonder New Zealanders have always been ahead with regards to things like inventions and politics…. New Zealand is after all the very first country to greet each new day!
We were also the first country to give women the right to vote, Sir Edmund Hillary, the first person to climb Mount Everest in 1953 and New Zealand won the first ever Rugby World Cup in 1987. The list goes on ……..
“If you dare to dream – good things can happen. You just have to take the bull by the horns, draw on that good old fashion Kiwi ‘she’ll be right attitude’ and not be afraid of failure”, says Sir Ray Avery guest speaker at the launch of the Health Innovation Hub, created to help nurture and grow New Zealand’s health technology industry, and to support the widespread adoption of leading innovations developed within the public health sector.
“If I hadn’t of come to New Zealand I wouldn’t have achieved half of the things that I had said – you have a great kiwi spirit here,” says Sir Ray, who is deputy chairman of the Hub.
Sir Avery goes on to say that all it takes to come up with a good idea is one moment of observation and that’s what NZ pharmacist and vet Colin Murdoch did when he got the idea for the disposable syringe from looking at a plastic pen! Murdoch’s invention is now used by millions every day in hospitals and clinics around the world.
“We are great at coming up with great ideas – the only thing we don’t do so well is give ourselves credit where credit is due and pushing ourselves into the lime light,” says Sir Ray. “For example Colin Murdoch helped to transform healthcare, however no-one knows who he is. He also didn’t patent his idea internationally so NZ missed out on the economic benefits.”
The other challenge is getting products to market and that’s where the Innovation Hub can help by connecting people who, together, can realise the tremendous benefits that new health technology products and service innovations can deliver for New Zealanders.
The foundation partners in the Hub are Counties Manukau, Auckland, Waitemata and Canterbury DHBs, who together are responsible for the health of half the NZ population.
So how do we come up with these innovative ideas? Sir Ray asks us to be customer centric – to see opportunities that no-one else has seen or have missed. “If enough people have the same problem there is an opportunity. So get out there – bring your ideas and let us help you make them a reality,”
“It’s only until you go overseas that you realise how good we have it in NZ,” says Wil Harrison, Cardiology Consultant at Middlemore Hospital. Who has been working on projects with industry.
He noted that we are surrounded by devices and services ripe for development but it takes clinicians to identify areas of need in order for that to happen.
“Clinicians also need businesses to get out their ideas and businesses can’t make money unless they work with clinicians.”
If you would like to know more about the Innovation Hub check out the video below or go to www.innovation.health.nz
Sir Ray Avery
Dr. William Harrison