Our Speakers

Max Kennedy


Max Kennedy, PhD, FIChemE, FEngNZ (Ret), FNZIC, was the Manager of Contestable Investments at the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) for 12 years.  This included managing the Endeavour Fund (New Zealand’s largest contestable research fund), the industry-led Partnership Fund, the Pre-Seed Acceleration Fund, and the Vision Matauranga Capability Fund.  Max also led MBIE’s COVID Innovation Acceleration Fund to support research to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to this Max was Research and Development Strategy Manager at Meat and Wool NZ Ltd (MWNZ), directing MWNZ consortia research investment in nine companies or partnerships in the pastoral sector.  Formerly he was the Chief Scientific Officer of IRL-BioPharm Ltd, a New Zealand-based fermentation contract manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients for human clinical trials under cGMP conditions.

Max has served as Director on the Boards six technology companies and was on the Fermentation Advisory Board of the anti-malaria project of OneWorld Health (a not for profit pharmaceutical company based in San Francisco, USA). Max has been Chair of SCENZ – IChemE in New Zealand and Chair of The Australian and New Zealand Federation of Chemical Engineers (ANZFChE). 

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