Ray Avery (scientist)
Avery was born in Kent, England. After spending his childhood in orphanages and foster homes, he developed an interest in science at the age of 14 while living rough in London and finding warmth in public libraries. He now mentors young people, speaking regularly at schools and universities. He was later educated at Wye College, a tertiary agricultural college in Kent.
He settled in New Zealand in 1973 and became a New Zealand citizen within nine months. In 2010, Avery published his autobiography Rebel with a Cause, which charts his life from childhood in English orphanages and foster homes to knighthood.
After graduating, Avery worked as an analyst in laboratories, in which he eventually took a shareholding. After leaving Britain and settling in New Zealand, he was 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.
As 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.
Sir Ray is Deputy Chair of The New Zealand Health Innovation Hub.
Avery’s inventions include:
- Acuset IV Flow Controller: A device that facilitates the safe administration of potent IV drugs.
- Lifepod infant incubator: A high-tech low-cost incubator that uses patentable technology to reduce the mortality rates associated with upper respiratory tract infections of premature babies.
- Proteinforte: An amino acid based functional food used for the treatment and prevention of protein-energy malnutrition.
Medicine Mondiale is an independent development agency headed by Ray Avery focused on improving life for the world's poor by developing products and technologies that have applications in both the developing and developed world markets.
Between 1993 and 1997 Ray Avery designed and commissioned two state-of-the-art intraocular lens laboratories in Eritrea and in Nepal. Together these labs now supply 10% of the world market for intraocular lenses and together with the efforts of other generic lens manufacturers have collapsed the price of lenses from over US$300 in 1992 to around US$6 today. As a result, cataract surgery is now available to the very poorest around the world.
Acuset IV flow controller
The Acuset is a small device designed to control the flow of drugs through an intravenous (IV) drip. Unlike roller-clamp device still commonly used in the developing world, the Acuset is intuitive to use, even by untrained operators. It allows fine control and precision of flow rates, eliminating the accidental harm, and in some cases death, caused by incorrect drug doses. In 2008 the Acuset was a finalist in the Saatchi & Saatchi World Changing Ideas Awards.
Medicine Mondiale is developing a range of nutritional productions for the treatment of dehydration and protein-energy malnutrition. These are designed to combat acute diarrhoea, which is the leading cause of death in infants under two years of age in the developing world. The same technology will be used in a range of products targeted at endurance athletes in the developed world. These products will be manufactured in Nepal.
The Liferaft infant incubator is a low cost but high end incubator in development by Medicine Mondiale. The incubator is designed around performance, ease of use and simple maintenance in challenging conditions, such as in poorly resourced healthcare facilities with inconsistent power and water supplies.
Much of the incubator's features have been designed in response to shortcomings in many current incubator designs, which are not always effective or practical in challenging conditions.
By combining an innovative microbial filtration system, as well as robust electronics and mechanisms, Medicine Mondiale intend for the Liferaft infant incubator to be a 'plug and play' solution for neonatal healthcare facilities, requiring little or no maintenance.
In order to get future designers and scientists thinking about the problem at hand, Medicine Mondiale encouraged product design students from AUT University to enter a design contest challenging students to find an innovative solution for the Incubator's humidification system.
Twenty-five prototypes had been built by October 2014. Medicine Mondiale then launched an appeal for funds to make several batches of the incubators in order to gain International Standards Organisation certification.
Avery has received awards including:
|2008||Rotary Paul Harris Medal|
|2008||Bayer Research and Development Innovator Award||Acuset flow controller|
|2009||World Class New Zealand Award for Biotechnology|
|2010||TBWA Disruption Award|
|2010||KiwiBank New Zealander of the Year||For designing technology used to produce low-cost intraocular lenses|
|2010||Sir Peter Blake Leadership Medal|
|2011||Ernst and Young Social Entrepreneur Award|
|2011||Readers Digest New Zealand's Most Trusted Person|
|2011||Knight Grand Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit||For his services to philanthropy|
- "Ray Avery". Radio New Zealand. 2010.
- "Lessons from mean streets of London". The New Zealand Herald. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- New Zealander of the Year Awards
- Inspiring Kiwis: Ray Avery. Television New Zealand.
- "One Kiwi's determination to make a difference". Scoop. 29 July 2010.
- "Great end to glorious Christmas". The New Zealand Herald. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- Collins, Simon (1 December 2004). "NZ man aids millions with 15c water drip invention". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "No respect for the status quo". Committee for Auckland.
- "About Medicine Mondiale". Medicine Mondiale.
- World Class New Zealand 2009 Winners. Kea New Zealand.
- "The 2010 Blake medalist: Ray Avery". The Governor-General.
- "People". New Zealand Health Innovation Hub.
- Poor fortune :: Idealog
- "Acuset IV Flow Controller". Medicine Mondiale. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Infant incubator". Medicine Mondiale. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Infant nutrition". Medicine Mondiale. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "World Changing Ideas award finalists announced". Saatchi & Saatchi. 22 January 2008. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Proteinforte predigested protein formulations". Maternova. 6 August 2014. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Medicine Mondiale". Hugh Green Foundation. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- "Incubator challenge tests future designers". New Zealand Doctor. 19 July 2010.
- Johnston, Martin (25 October 2014). "Kiwi help for Third World babies". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 October 2014.
- Sir Ray Avery. Sir Peter Blake Trust.
- New Year Honours List 2011. DPMC.