Reflections from the High 5 New Zealand International Health Industry Summit

November 28, 2023

New Zealand, with its pockets of world-leading innovation, a supportive regulatory environment and passionate scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs is poised for significant growth in the health tech and deep tech sectors.

Last week, Pacific Channel had the privilege of collaborating with Next Federation to hold the inaugural High 5 New Zealand International Health Industry Summit – an event that, from our perspective, marked a key moment for our country’s deep tech sector.

This was not just a meeting of the minds; it was an opportunity for Kiwi innovators and exporters to showcase their brands to international decision-makers from countries with a population of over 1.6bn, on our home soil. 

While the inherent benefits to New Zealand from this global summit were evident, what captured our attention were the discussions about the impact an effective funding and incubation ecosystem has in accelerating deep tech innovations, mostly developed in a lab, into the international marketplace to address the challenges facing our future. These ecosystems, comprising passionate individuals, regulatory bodies and forward-thinking enterprises, act as a catalyst, not only accelerating the transition of innovations but also enhancing their likelihood of being commercially successful.

Participating in the event was the world’s largest technology park developer, Chinese-owned Tus-Holdings. With international assets of $48bn,Tus-Holdings operates 300 start-up incubators in 70 science parks in 100 cities around the world. Notably, the organisation has partnered with over 200 tertiary education providers over the past 30 years, including Cambridge University, to support the growth of thousands of early-stage companies.

Their interest in exploring a new multi-million-dollar incubation facility in New Zealand, particularly to support Kiwi ventures in food, health, and other technology domains accessing the Chinese market, presents a unique opportunity for our deep tech sector.

As the country’s first and largest deep-tech venture capital company, and with over $100m under management, we’re excited about the potential a facility like this would have in accelerating innovation and commercialization on a global scale.

Above all, the impact of the event extends beyond the Summit itself. It gave Kiwi companies a glimpse into the evolving landscape of the health industry within a shifting global economic context. The connections made, the knowledge exchanged, and the partnerships formed hold the potential to stimulate local economies, create jobs, and enable New Zealand to take a leadership role in these cutting-edge fields. This global spotlight on our deep tech innovation is not just a validation of our capabilities but also acts as inspiration for future endeavours.