Ray Avery (scientist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Ray Avery (New Zealand scientist))
Jump to: navigation, search

Sir Raymond John "Ray" Avery GNZM (born 1947[1]) is a pharmaceutical scientist, inventor, and social entrepreneur in Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand.

Personal life[edit]

Avery was born in Kent, England.[2] 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.[3] He now mentors young people, speaking regularly at schools and universities.[4] He was later educated at Wye College, a tertiary agricultural college in Kent.[5]

He settled in New Zealand in 1973 and became a New Zealand citizen within nine months.[6] In 2010, Avery published his autobiography Rebel with a Cause, which charts his life from childhood in English orphanages and foster homes to knighthood.[2][5]


After graduating, Avery worked as an analyst in laboratories, in which he eventually took a shareholding.[5] 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9]

In 2009, Avery received a World Class New Zealand Award [10] in the Life Sciences category.

He has also been Chair of the World Class New Zealand Steering Committee.[11]

Sir Ray is Deputy Chair of The New Zealand Health Innovation Hub.[12]


Avery’s inventions include:[13]


Avery has received awards including:

Year Award Notes
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[3] For designing technology used to produce low-cost intraocular lenses
2010 Sir Peter Blake Leadership Medal[17]
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[18] For his services to philanthropy


  1. ^ "Ray Avery". Radio New Zealand. 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Lessons from mean streets of London". The New Zealand Herald. 17 June 2013. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  3. ^ a b New Zealander of the Year Awards
  4. ^ Inspiring Kiwis: Ray Avery. Television New Zealand.
  5. ^ a b c "One Kiwi's determination to make a difference". Scoop. 29 July 2010.
  6. ^ "Great end to glorious Christmas". The New Zealand Herald. 31 December 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  7. ^ Collins, Simon (1 December 2004). "NZ man aids millions with 15c water drip invention". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "No respect for the status quo". Committee for Auckland.
  9. ^ "About Medicine Mondiale". Medicine Mondiale.
  10. ^ World Class New Zealand 2009 Winners. Kea New Zealand.
  11. ^ "The 2010 Blake medalist: Ray Avery". The Governor-General.
  12. ^ "People". New Zealand Health Innovation Hub.
  13. ^ Poor fortune :: Idealog
  14. ^ "Acuset IV Flow Controller". Medicine Mondiale. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  15. ^ "Infant incubator". Medicine Mondiale. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  16. ^ "Infant nutrition". Medicine Mondiale. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  17. ^ Sir Ray Avery. Sir Peter Blake Trust.
  18. ^ New Year Honours List 2011. DPMC.

External links[edit]