Introducing Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Health Technology Centre
September 18, 2023

Introducing Ōtautahi Christchurch’s Health Technology Centre

Your Journey

Madeleine Martin discusses the recent opening of the Health Technology Centre and her vision for its role within the healthtech innovation ecosystem.

The Ōtautahi Christchurch Health Technology Centre in Te Matatiki Toi Ora - The Arts Centre has recently opened to create a space for a cluster of healthtech companies and the wider community to work from a unique and collaborative environment.

Te Matatiki Toi Ora - The Arts Centre is the largest collection of category 1 listed heritage buildings in Aotearoa New Zealand. The Health Technology Centre now sits at its heart, occupying most of the Engineering Extensions building built in 1923 and the top floor of the Electrical Engineering building built in 1902. The buildings were extensively damaged in the Canterbury Earthquakes, but have been seismically strengthened, restored, and linked by a new overhead bridge, the Bridge of Aspiration. The building restoration has been meticulous, and heritage features have been retained wherever possible, down to student and thespian graffiti in the rafters.


The Bridge of Aspiration.

When Professor Robert Julian Scott was appointed the first head of the Engineering department at Canterbury College in 1889, little did he know that his pioneering vision would lay the foundation for a Health Technology Centre that seamlessly merges the past and the future; the arts and the sciences. Few workspaces can boast such a direct link to the city’s history of technological innovation. You can even host a board meeting immediately above the site of New Zealand’s first television transmission.

The location of the Health Technology Centre has numerous advantages:

  • Ōtautahi Christchurch has a strong reputation for innovation, cutting-edge technology, and collaboration between health agencies.
  • The Health Technology Centre is situated on the edge of Te Papa Hauora Health Precinct, bringing tenants into close proximity with hospital clinicians, tertiary educators, and mana whenua.
  • Te Matatiki Toi Ora - The Arts Centre already hosts all the ancillary services of a technology precinct, including bookable venues, a boutique hotel, and hospitality outlets.
  • Being embedded in The Arts Centre means companies are surrounded by people with a deep understanding of creativity and innovation.
  • The beautifully restored buildings are rich in a history of technical brilliance, offering a unique working environment and talking point.

Madeleine Martin (centre) with Te Papa Hauora’s Pip Griffin (left) and Andrew Clews from Callaghan Innovation at a recent Canterbury Health Innovation Networking event.

The recently opened Health Technology Centre has some amazing founding tenants including Komodo, oVRcome, Myovolt, Johner Institute, The Kite Programme, ContentedAI, The Honest Human and Calmly. 

But the vision of the Health Technology Centre has always been more than just a co-work space for health technology companies. It will be a place for inspiration, connection, and collaboration, and ultimately will provide the advice and services that the healthtech innovation ecosystem needs to ensure we are translating more research and clinical innovations into commercial products that have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of our communities. 

The Health Technology Centre will become a platform dedicated to coordinating services that support new ideas and research from concept through to commercialisation. It will focus on building and accelerating capability in start-ups and scaling businesses in Ōtautahi Christchurch’s key areas of strength, such as next generation medical devices, sensors and diagnostics, manufacturing, and sustainable medtech. The Health Technology Centre will also provide a platform of relevant advisory services and expertise, such as quality, regulatory, health economics, reimbursement, marketing, sales and clinical research. This will help health technology ventures succeed and ensure that the technologies that have the most impact on community are supported.

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