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Centre of Excellence

Techweek TV: How can we make NZ a centre of innovation excellence?

We discuss the challenges and the ideas that can build New Zealand’s brand as a place where deeptech talent not only lives, but thrives.

This event does not require registration.

Thursday 27 May
12:00pm - 12:30pm


Nationwide (more than one region)
Free event
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Centre of Excellence

What's it all about?

New Zealand’s science and engineering expertise is top class globally - and we can do so much more with a thriving, connected and collaborative ecosystem. How can we build New Zealand’s brand as a place where talent not only lives, but thrives seamlessly together across the research community, investors, businesses, Iwi, policy makers and community organisations? We discuss the challenges and the ideas - including physical centres of innovation excellence.


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Shaun Hendy

Director, Te Pūnaha Matatini

Shaun is a Fellow of the Royal Society New Zealand (FRSNZ) and a director of Te Pūnaha Matatini, a New Zealand Centre of Research Excellence hosted by the University of Auckland. Shaun teaches in the Department of Physics and the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Auckland. He's previously worked at Industrial Research Ltd, Callaghan Innovation, Victoria University and the MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. He has won a number of awards including the Royal Society of NZ Callaghan Medal, the Prime Minister’s Science Media Communication Prize and the E.O. Tuck medal.

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Imche Fourie

Chief Executive Officer, Outset Ventures

Imche is passionate about all things deep tech start-ups. Her career started researching neurodegenerative diseases but has diverged toward venture capital. Imche is co-founder and CEO of Outset Ventures, the largest science and engineering venture hub in Aotearoa. She advocates for investing for the long term, in companies that solve globally significant problems. Imche also works to empower young people and women to have a greater say in the shape of the future. Curiosity and community are at the heart of everything Imche does and she is excited about backing inquisitive people with big ideas.

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Will Hewitt

CEO, HeartLab

Will is founder and CEO of HeartLab, a medical device business building an artifical intelligence-powered platform for cardiologists to view echocardiograms. He's also an honorary academic at Auckland Bioengineering Institute and a member of the Return on Science MedTech and Surgery Investment Committee. Previously, Will worked as a research engineer on laser-based medical devices and as an academic researcher in deep learning applied to medical imaging.

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Kate de Ridder

Programme Manager, Bridgewest Ventures

Kate is Programme Manager at Bridgewest Ventures New Zealand (BVNZ). With a Bachelor’s Degree in electrical engineering and a Master’s Degree in aerospace vehicle design, Kate worked for 17 years in the Royal New Zealand Air Force before entering the world of venture capital. Kate is motivated by the challenge to get to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and strongly believes New Zealand innovation will be a large contributor to that goal. She hopes to help identify and support those technologies, and other innovations that will help create a sustainable future.

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