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Loud and proud! | BiotechNZ News April

In this issue

  • Insights from our Executive Director 
  • BioTechNZ Strategic Plan 2024-2025
  • Government update
  • Submissions
  • Member news

Insights from our Executive Director 

Just a month ago we were eagerly anticipating the Life Sciences Summit, and we’re thrilled to report our second annual summit, following the outstanding success of our inaugural event in 2023, was yet another triumph. Check out the photo gallery here

Amidst the current climate with a new Government in place, the biotech sector finds itself in a favourable position. It’s been two decades since a Government showed such keen interest in biotech, making this an opportune moment for our industry. Our Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, Hon. Judith Collins has outlined three key areas of focus – artificial intelligence (AI), space and biotech. She has also emphasised the Government’s commitment to reform New Zealand’s gene technology rules, aiming to remove barriers hindering progress in our field.

Those of you who attended our Summit experienced firsthand the remarkable unity and collaboration within our sector. As we reflect on its success, I would like to extend my gratitude to the companies and people whose support made the Life Sciences Summit 2024 possible for the second time. 
Special thanks to our partners and exhibitors:

I would also like to acknowledge all 44 speakers who generously dedicated their time to prepare and present their sessions. Plus, a special shoutout to the NZTech team who work tirelessly behind the scenes. 

This month’s theme: Loud and proud resonates strongly and echoes the sentiments expressed by Minister Collins in her opening address at the Life Sciences Summit 2024. Now, more than ever, it’s imperative to showcase New Zealand on the global stage. However, achieving this isn’t as straightforward as it may seem…Several years ago, BioTechNZ worked with the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) to coordinate a New Zealand delegation of domestic biotechnology organisations to attend BIO2019, the world’s foremost biotechnology conference. This was possible in collaboration with the International Partnerships Team. While the Government shows eagerness for regulatory changes, agencies are currently juggling multiple priorities, beyond biotech. However,  we persist in our efforts and have extended invitations to Ministers (though, regrettably Minister Collins is unable to attend), to join us at BIO 2024, 3-6 June in San Diego, California, USA. If you haven’t already, please email us your attendance confirmation, as we’re partnering on several functions and would love to have you join us.

BioTechNZ Strategic Plan 2024-2025 

Recently, our Executive Council met to brainstorm ideas for the year ahead. Once finalised, I will share further details, but at this stage I can confirm the following focus areas:

  1. Industry voice during the updating of gene regulations and creation of regulatory body  
  2. Government relations to promote the importance of traditional and modern biotech, clinical trials and the requirements to create a successful ecosystem
  3. Promoting biotech on the international stage
  4. Fostering International partnerships 

Government update

Congratulations to Dr William Rolleston’s appointment to The Science System Advisory Group.


Stats NZ is currently seeking submissions on industry classifications. View their consultation document here. The current industrial classification used in Aotearoa New Zealand is the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (2006 edition) developed with the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and known as ANZSIC06. Submitting feedback on industry classifications may not seem crucial at first glance, but it becomes apparent when you require data, only to find it’s not collected in a useful way.  If you have suggestions to make this data more beneficial for the biotech sector, please contact me.

Member news

Congratulations to New Zealand based startup KimerMed on their contract valued up to USD$750,000 (NZD$1.3 million) with Battelle, the world’s largest independent, nonprofit research and development organisation.  The 12 month contract is funded by the United States of America Government through the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) and will fall into Battelle’s Accelerated Therapeutics for Combating Acute Viral Epidemics (BAT-CAVE) programme. The contract is focused on the discovery and development of new antiviral drug candidates for the treatment of alphaviruses. Read more.

Loud and proud!

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