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Global partnership for MBIE funded research

Global partnership for MBIE funded research

A Government-funded research project has signed a partnership agreement with GE Healthcare, the world’s largest medical technology company, to work together on a ground-breaking medical imaging product.

MARS spectral imaging is a revolutionary x-ray technology project developed as a collaborative effort, led by the Universities of Canterbury and Otago based in Christchurch.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has invested $4 million over 6.5 years in the project through its High Value Manufacturing Services Research Fund.

The MARS colour scanner, developed as part of the project, can provide images of bone, soft tissue, calcifications and injected contrast agents with much more detail than traditional computer tomography and MRI scans. The capability of this scanner will result in early detection, diagnosis and treatment of major diseases such as cancer and heart diseases.

Ministry Science Investments, Manufacturing and Resources Acting Manager Bas Walker says the potential economic benefit to New Zealand is substantial as this is a high-value product, and currently there are no spectral CT scanners commercially available.

“As well as contributing to health improvement, the MARS technology will help raise the global competitiveness of New Zealand’s high technology manufacturing sector in the area of medical imaging,” he says.

The partnership with GE Healthcare, which specialises in transformational medical technologies and services worldwide, opens additional pathways for sharing knowledge and will allow New Zealand to showcase its high-tech manufacturing capabilities on a global scale.

“The MARS project is a great example of how government investment in purpose-driven research can lead to economic benefits and opportunities for New Zealand,” Dr Walker says.


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