EMDT_European Medical Device Technology

European Medical Device Technology, Summer 2015

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20 | Summer 2015 European Medical Device Technology emdt.co.uk markets France's Frustrating Medtech Paradox Although France's world-famous academic research facilities and hospitals afford a great deal of opportunity to innovate, many French start-ups struggle to flourish. W orth 19-billion euros, the French medical device market ranks fourth in medical device sales in the world behind the United States, Ger- many and Japan. So it's no wonder that France is home to 1,100 medical device manufacturers, 350 subcontractors and 354 distributors. "A total of 65,000 people are directly or indirectly employed in our sector," says Eric Leroy, head of France's national union for the medical technology industry (SNITEM). Fostering French Innovation According to the French National Indus- trial Property Institute, France registers 700 medtech patents every year, primarily in the surgical, implant, prosthetic, dialysis, perfusion and resuscitation fields. Fuelling French innovation is the wealth of local public teaching and research bodies, which further add to this hive of medtech activity by linking their research efforts with the clinical excellence of 28 teaching hospitals. Leading research activity is carried out at the laboratories at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM), research units at the French National Cen- tre for Scientific Research (CNRS), French Atomic Energy and Alternative Energies Commission (CEA), and the French Insti- tute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA), among others. Industry Clusters French medtech companies tend to coop- erate in clusters, organising collaborative R&D with public research laboratories in France's eight healthcare clusters and 14 cross-cutting clusters which are co-funded by the public authorities. Four regions are particularly critical to France's influential medtech market: Île-de-France, Rhône- Alpes, Provence-Alpes-Côtes d'Azur and Alsace. They alone comprise three-quarters of France's healthcare technology business. However, Champagne-Ardenne in the north, Lorraine and Franche-Comté in the east and the Rhône-Alpes region in the south also contribute to the country's medi- cal device industry. "These regions have the highest concentration of subcontractors dedicating over 50% of their business to the medical devices sector," according to a 2011 report issued by the French Inter- Ministerial Centre for Forecasting and Anticipating Economic Change. These structures are helping French medtech companies develop technologi- cal expertise in areas such as implants, technical aids, minimally invasive surgery systems, in vitro diagnostics, imaging and Excellent Hospitals in France: Doctor using cracker instrument and phaco hand piece in cataract surgery Bernard Banga Source: Huntstock

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