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Sir Ray Avery to bring science and innovation to festival

Media release

Friday 15 June 2012

Sir Ray Avery to bring science and innovation to festival

Sir Ray Avery GNZM and 2010 New Zealander of the Year will attend this year’s 2012 New Zealand International Science Festival. Themed ‘what makes us tick?’ the festival will be held in Dunedin from 30 June to 8 July.

Sir Ray is the founder of Medicine Mondiale, a medical technology firm aimed at helping people in developing countries. This inspirational scientist, social entrepreneur and inventor is preparing to attend the festival to share his inspiring story, the contribution he has already made to the development sector and his ideas for the future.

He hopes that those who attend his festival talk about science and innovation will come away inspired on at least two levels. “Science can change everything. I want to show how science can have an impact on social and environmental issues. It really is possible for one man to make a difference on the global stage. I’ll be talking about my story as well as some of the issues we face around science and innovation,” Sir Ray says.

Sir Ray Avery is a successful pharmaceutical scientist, a founding member of the Auckland University School of Medicine’s Department of Clinical Pharmacology and former technical director of Douglas Pharmaceuticals. Over the past thirty years, he has made a major contribution in the development of New Zealand’s pharmaceutical industry.

In January 2011 Ray Avery was appointed a Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit ­– the highest level of the New Zealand knighthood honors. In 2010 he was given the Kiwi Bank New Zealander of the Year award and also received the Blake Leadership Medal. In 2011 he received the Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur Award.

Ray says that festivals like the New Zealand International Science Festival provide a way of publicising these important issues: “They give us a chance to showcase what can be done using science and what the issues are that we are facing. We need to start focusing and using our scientific endeavours to make the country the way we’d like it to be.”

New Zealand International Science Festival Director Chris Green said the festival team is thrilled to have Sir Ray Avery join the festival.

“This is a rare opportunity to have someone of Sir Ray’s calibre at the festival, to share his extensive knowledge and ideas on the issues facing many businesses around innovation and science.”

Join Sir Ray for an inspiring evening where he’ll be talking about science and innovation, putting New Zealand education under the microscope, scrutinising our research and innovation track record, both governmental and private, and discussing ‘the root causes of New Zealand’s poor Global Innovation Index’.

The evening will include an interactive panel discussion entitled “Science and Innovation: Issues, Problems and Solutions for the Future”. Vincent Heeringa, Director of Tangible Media Ltd and one of New Zealand’s leading business commentators will MC the evening.

Panelists will include Professor Richard Blaikie, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Enterprise) University of Otago; David Smillie of Gallaway Cook Allan, a commercial lawyer with experience in intellectual property matters and Alistair Regan, Director of Research and Enterprise at Otago Polytechnic.

An evening with Sir Ray Avery

Venue: Teachers College Auditorium, Union Street East

Monday 2nd July, 7 – 8.30pm

Tickets $10 available via TicketDirect


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