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Challenge aims to position Christchurch as NZ’s centre of health innovation 

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Ōtautahi Christchurch aims to become the home of health tech innovation in New Zealand with the HealthTech Supernode Challenge, opening Monday 29 June.

With a total prize pool across multiple categories valued at over $340,000, there are plenty of reasons to enter the HealthTech Supernode Challenge. This includes entry into a virtual pre-accelerator programme, the potential for startup investment, a Canterbury District Health Board validation contract, and an exclusive invitation to a further startup incubator programme.  

Most importantly, all Challenge finalists will receive extensive profile, new networks and exposure to one of NZ’s most prolific health innovation ecosystems.  

The nationwide challenge, sponsored by ChristchurchNZ, is open to anyone with a healthtech innovation or idea – from students and startups to researchers, and healthcare professionals. 

The aim of the Challenge is to identify and generate commercially viable solutions that address real healthcare problems focusing on the Aged Care sector and Rural New Zealand. There is also an Open category to ensure no innovation is left uncovered.

Applications open 29 June 2020, with finalists announced 19 August. Anyone in New Zealand can apply.  www.healthtech challenge.co.nz

Up to 20 finalists will embark on an intensive, six-week virtual pre-accelerator programme to support teams through a market validation process that will rigorously test their idea.

The top finalists emerging from the pre-accelerator will present to a panel of experts at a Demo Night, to be held on 22 October at Manawa, in the heart of Te Papa Hauora Christchurch Health Precinct. Judges include Microbiologist and Media Commentator, Dr Siouxsie Wiles and Ian Town, New Zealand’s Chief Science Advisor at the Ministry of Health. 

The HealthTech Supernode Challenge is delivered by the Ministry of Awesome and the University of Canterbury’s Centre for Entrepreneurship with support from ChristchurchNZ, KiwiNet, and Ryman Healthcare. 

Healthtech is a growth sector for Christchurch and an area of existing strength, with the city looking for opportunities to continue to attract and grow talent, business and innovation.

Joanna Norris CEO ChristchurchNZ said there is no city better placed than Christchurch to host the Challenge.

“Ōtautahi Christchurch is home to Te Papa Hauora, a world-class Health Precinct which integrates research and innovation with education and community wellbeing, pair this with the talent coming out of the tertiaries and a thriving tech ecosystem and we’ve got the perfect testbed to challenge the status quo and find new ways to address the biggest health issues facing the globe.

I have no doubt we’ll see some very competitive submissions coming through with the potential to drive the city’s economic recovery and create new high-value jobs.’’ 

 

From KiwiNet:

Now more than ever is the time for us to be investing in and accelerating new and innovative ideas. Which is why it’s so important that we step up and support our local and emerging researchers, who are developing new technologies with the potential to change New Zealanders’ lives, for the better. The Supernode Challenge will provide an amazing opportunity and platform for these innovators, and we can’t wait to see what incredible ideas are put forward.Alexandra Stuthridge, Commercialisation Manager at KiwiNet.

From Ryman Healthcare:

“We jumped at the chance to be able to support the HealthTech Supernode Challenge because we think it couldn’t come at a better time. New Zealand’s population of older people is growing, and this growth is set to speed up rapidly as the Baby Boomers retire, placing extra demand on our health system. We’d like to support our best and brightest minds in developing new technologies to help us cope with this demand, and which will improve the quality of life for older people.’’ Rick Davies, Head of Technology and Innovation at Ryman Healthcare. 

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