EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Spring 2015

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30 | Spring 2015 European Medical Device Technology emdt.co.uk special report The Seven Most Important Medtech Clusters in Europe I dentifying the most relevant medical technology clusters is, to some extent, a subjective activity, as there are different views on what the purpose of such a cluster is or how its success can be measured. Does it need to generate cost or efficiency benefits for its residents? Is a high concentration of medtech companies in a region sufficient to constitute a cluster, or does it need large- scale cooperation between local companies, research institutes and clinics as well as a rich supply of start-up companies? Certainly, the ideal cluster would have all of these elements: an excellent manufacturer and supplier backbone, access to first-rate clinics, universities and research facilities, a high number of technology start-ups, and easy access to funding. Here are the seven regions that come closest to this ideal blend of characteristics in our assesment. The Grand Est Area of France With its 'learning factory' training centres, campuses and incubators, the Grand Est area of France is home to two world-class medtech clusters: the Alsace Biovalley and the medical microtechnology cluster in Franche-Comté. These two regions of the Grand Est area of France alone generate an annual turnover of 932 million euros. Alsace is home to 150 medtech compa- nies, with five new medtech start-ups set- ting up shop in this small region of France each year. The cluster concentrates research in several strategic fields: robotic keyhole surgery and robotics, in general; implant- able medical devices; simulation and model- ling tools; drug delivery; and neuroscience. "Our biocluster helps companies set up collaborative projects, from design to end products, and makes it easier to raise funds and find new business," explains Séverine Sigrist, president of the Alsace Biovalley cluster. The Alsace Biovalley has facilitated 492 regional collaborative research projects over the past 10 years. Many companies in the medtech hub flourishing in the French region Franche- Comté owe their expertise in microtech- nology to traditional watchmaking skills. Some 250 of the region's SMEs, specializing in micromechanics, microrobotics, micro- fluids, optics and IT, are contributing to the worldwide growth of biomedical produc- tion, mainly in the fields of prostheses, implantable medical devices and telemedi- cine. A total of 75 innovative projects have been accredited, in fields as varied as ultrasound-optimized tumour treatment, on-board microsystems for diagnosing infections, smart blood transfusion kits, and implantable valves. Nurnberg, Germany One of the precursors to Siemens Health- care was founded in 1877 in Erlangen in Bavaria, which is still the location for the company's headquarters. Ever since, medi- cal technology has been one of the most Alessandra Martelli, Bernard Banga, and Thomas Klein Researcher at the Franche-Comté Electronique Mécanique Thermique et Optique – Sciences et Technologies Technology clusters can generate many benefits for the companies involved, from cost savings to research collaboration. EMDT highlights the most successful European medtech hubs. Image, Source: FEMTO

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