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UC Inventors Win Big At NZ’s First HealthTech Innovation Challenge

Several University of Canterbury (UC) innovators and their health technology solutions are among the inaugural winners of the first HealthTech Supernode Challenge, a national innovation challenge, announced at an awards ceremony in Christchurch last night.

The aim of the Challenge was to identify and generate commercially viable innovations to address real healthcare problems, particularly in the aged care and rural care sectors. The country’s most inventive and life-changing healthcare ideas and initiatives were refined from 128 entries to eight finalists.

At Thursday’s Demo Evening event, which took place at Manawa in Christchurch’s Health Innovation Precinct, the eight finalists pitched their innovations to a VIP judging panel, which included microbiologist Dr Siouxsie Wiles, Ministry of Health Chief Science Advisor Ian Town, UC Head of Aotahi School of Māori and Indigenous Studies Sacha McMeeking, and Chief Executive of ChristchurchNZ Joanna Norris.

Category winners were:

University of Canterbury innovations and researchers were involved in five of the eight finalists, including the category winners and Stable Fall Prevention Platform by UC MBA student Shane Wilson.

From 128 applicants, 22 finalists took part in an intensive six-week pre-accelerator programme that included support from local and national mentors, guest speakers, coaches, and judges.

Delivered by the Ministry of Awesome and the University of Canterbury’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (UCE) with support from ChristchurchNZ, KiwiNet and Ryman Healthcare, the HealthTech Supernode Challenge aims to position Christchurch as New Zealand’s centre of health innovation by attracting and growing talent, business and innovation.

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