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Rights: University of Waikato. All rights Reserved.
Published 23 July 2015
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Professor Phil Butler from MARS Imaging and the University of Canterbury has commercialised a colour CT scanner. His research is transforming the way X-ray is used in medicine and security and is opening up new commercial and science possibilities around the world.

Professor Butler and Bill Lee, Commercial Director at the University of Canterbury, discuss the development of the technology and the market possibilities.

Transcript

Voiceover
Professor Phil Butler from the University of Canterbury is championing the use of colour imaging and X-ray technology. His science is transforming the way X-ray is used in medicine and security.

Professor Phil Butler
We’ve got into this field of pioneering colour X-rays – colour imaging with X-rays – and it gives you a lot more information, and that’s very useful for medical imaging. It enables you to do a lot of diagnosis you can’t do otherwise.

Bill Lee
I’m certain that, once people realise what the extra scope this can provide, there will be a big market for it.

Professor Phil Butler
When you go from a black and white camera photographing a tree with its leaves, you can’t tell whether the leaves are healthy or not. But if you’ve got a colour camera, you can see whether they’re healthy leaves, whether they’re diseased.

Bill Lee
Well, it looked to be a product that added a new dimension to the whole scope of imaging and diagnosing, so we saw that as a new niche in a very competitive market.

Professor Phil Butler
Medical imaging industry in the US is something like $20 billion a year. That’s medical imaging. That doesn’t count for the fact that every suitcase in the US that flies gets a CT scan. It allows the operator to say, “Is there anything suspicious in the bag?” And ideally, that’s what medical people want to say, “Is there anything suspiciously wrong with this person?”

Voiceover
Professor Butler’s research underpins collaboration across the science community to take his technologies to market.

Professor Phil Butler
The colour detector comes out of a collaboration of 24 institutes from South America, North America, mostly from Europe, New Zealand – of course, us – and it’s based in Geneva.

Bill Lee
The University of Otago and the University of Canterbury have run a very successful business capital raising and getting it started and off the ground. So he’s a leader in the commercialisation space as far as we’re concerned.

Professor Phil Butler
The people who are developing drugs are very interested in this technology. We’ve got a lot of government funding, and that’s been very, very helpful. But we have convinced colleagues – actually, mostly medical colleagues who’ve said this is something that really they can see the future of. We want it to be a major export earner for New Zealand.

Acknowledgement
Video courtesy of Kiwi Innovation Network Limited
© Kiwi Innovation Network Limited, 2015