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Four Wellington science innovators you may not have heard of

12 Oct 2017


Whether a start-up on a mission of discovery, an established company, or large-scale research institute, Wellington is teeming with ideas and innovation.

And it's not just established institutions who are fuelling Wellington’s science and innovation success in 2017 – there’s a new wave of companies succeeding in selling overseas, yet these humble innovators often go unheard of.

So, with that in mind, here are four science innovators from Wellington doing amazing things:

Volpara Health Technologies

Putting patient care at the forefront of what they do, Volpara Health Technologies are helping women through their suite of breast imaging analytics and analysis products. Their VolparaDensity product supports digital mammography, offering a major step forward in the early diagnosis of breast cancer. With a growing presence in Australia and strong focus on America, Volpara recently celebrated their largest sale to a site in Texas.


AuramerBio designs, develops and commercialises several aptamer (DNA based sensors) sensing technologies and services. Aptamers are single-stranded synthetic DNA molecules which can be used to detect small molecules in a range of medical and environmental contexts in real-time. The Crown Research Institute ESR says, "aptamers show great promise in replacing expensive, elaborate detection platforms, making them highly suitable, in combination with lightweight technology, to provide rapid testing solutions across a broad range of markets". This year, The Crown Research Institute ESR invested in AuramerBio to help explore their technology.


Swibo takes the drudgery of physiotherapy and turns it into a fun, competitive game. By using a board which you stand on and a smartphone that tracks your movements to the game on the screen, it then provides insights to the physiotherapist as to how your movement is progressing. Swibo's potential was recognised at the recent Play by Play Awards for Australia and New Zealand, winning the 2017 Excellence in Innovation Award for Swibo Tilt.


Created initially to track the treatment of his acupuncture patients, Noted CEO Scott Pearson saw a gap in the market and decided to create the software for clinicians. Noted helps streamline clinicians work by enabling them to create detailed notes in the Noted medical record system. 

Emerging medtech companies like Noted and Spiral Software are part of a new wave of health-related digital services that build on the region's strong software development capabilities. These are strengthened by Wellington's research institutes like the Ferrier Research Institute (whose co-founders are the first Kiwis in more than 30 years to have created a drug that has made it to market) and the recent launch of the Global Energetics and Environmental Simulation Suite (GENESIS) at the University of Otago in Wellington used recently by the Hurricanes for high altitude training.

If you have any comments or questions on the science sector, or on any of our high-growth sectors feel free to pop a comment below.

Written by James Araci, WREDA's Science Sector Development and Business Attraction Manager.

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