Sir Ray Avery

Sir Raymond John “Ray” Avery GNZM was the Keynote speaker for the YIA Awards in 2010. He is a pharmaceutical scientist, inventor, and social entrepreneur – a legendary Kiwi.

After moving to New Zealand from England, he became a founding member of the Department of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Auckland School of Medicine. He was then the technical director of Douglas Pharmaceuticals, where he designed drug manufacturing facilities for nine years until 1992.

He then became the Technical Director of the Fred Hollows Foundation. Avery designed and commissioned two state of the art intraocular lens manufacturing facilities in Asmara, Eritrea and Kathmandu, Nepal, and developed novel low cost lens manufacturing technologies, systems, and global distribution networks. The Fred Hollows Foundation laboratories now provide 13% of the world market for intraocular lenses and use technology invented and gifted by Avery. The mass introduction of regulatory-approved low-cost high-quality Fred Hollows lenses collapsed the global price of lenses, making modern cataract surgery accessible to the world’s poorest.

In 2003, Avery founded the international development organisation Medicine Mondiale dedicated to making quality healthcare and equipment accessible to even the poorest developing nations around the world. In 2009, Avery received a World Class New Zealand Award in the Life Sciences category. He has also been Chair of the World Class New Zealand Steering Committee and is Deputy Chair of The New Zealand Health Innovation Hub.

Needless to say, we were very proud to have Avery present at the YIA Awards.