New partnership with Chinese researchers

Published Oct 3, 2017

The Wellington-Changsha Innovation Technology Transfer Centre was officially opened last week in a partnership between Viclink, Victoria University of Wellington, and the Hunan Zhaotai Research Medical Group.

The Hunan Group visited Wellington as part of a delegation from the city of Changsha, to unveil a plaque commemorating the new partnership and Centre. 

Victoria’s Vice-Provost (Research) Professor Kate McGrath says the partnership, mainly focused on biotechnology and medical products, will be mutually beneficial for both New Zealand and China. 

“The partnership will encourage the further investment from China in New Zealand technologies, as well as providing an opportunity for New Zealand to commercialise Chinese products for western markets.

“Changsha is a critical relationship for us because of their proven leadership in innovation and enterprise. Bringing together these different parties means we can do things together that are impossible to do separately—especially considering the small size of New Zealand. 

“It’s great to formally recognise our commitment to shared future commercialisation endeavours.” 

Changsha Vice Mayor Qiu Jixing says the new partnership is in accordance with China’s One Belt One Road initiative, and is an opportunity to stimulate more innovation—beyond what is already happening—and accelerate this process. 

As a result of its strong relationship with Changsha, Viclink is working on a number of projects in the commercialisation pipeline. 

One of those is a lightweight balance training board designed by Swibo, which allows users to play games by standing on and tilting the board, while at the same time strengthening their muscles and improving their overall balance. Swibo and the Hunan Zhaotai Medical Group are engaged in discussions regarding distribution possibilities in China. In addition, AbleX Healthcare has now signed a letter of intent with the Hunan Zhaotai Medical Group to help commercialise their product—a rehabilitation device for stroke patients.

Also on their trip to Wellington, the Hunan Group visited the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research to officially open Wellington Zhaotai Therapies Limited.

This partnership will trial an exciting new form of immunotherapies against cancer—CAR-T cell therapies—in New Zealand.