The cluster for medical and health technology was recently established in Saxony-Anhalt. With this, the potential for cooperation between entrepreneurs and scientists will be increasingly promoted and exploited. Engineering, science and medicine play an important role in Saxony-Anhalt, and this should be further emphasised both nationally and internationally, says cluster manager Dr Frank Fleischer from tti Magdeburg GmbH, which has taken over the cluster management on behalf of the Ministry of Sciences and Economic Affairs. A conversation about the goals, the challenges, and an industry that receives and also creates new impulses.
What is the cluster for medical and health technology in Saxony-Anhalt?
Dr Frank Fleischer: The cluster for medical and health technology is a network of companies in the region who are working in the field of medical technology or would like to in the future. Medical technology is part of the field of health and medicine, which is one of the five leading markets of the new innovation strategy in Saxony-Anhalt. Saxony-Anhalt is already an important location for the development and production of innovative medical technology products. Cluster development once again highlights the fact that the state offers tremendous potential for interaction between companies and scientists in the field of engineering, science and medicine.
Who is part of the cluster?
16 companies and associations, one university, two research institutes and a university hospital are currently part of the cluster. We have started collaborating with these partners in the formation of the cluster. The aim is to integrate various other market participants as soon as possible.
What is the function of the cluster?
It aims to bring together companies active in the field of medical technology with cooperation partners from commerce and science. The goal is to strengthen the capacity for innovation, appeal and competitiveness of medical technology in the state by increasing knowledge transfer and innovation activities. The networking of companies and research institutes should initiate the development of improved and new diagnostic and therapeutic technologies as well as medical equipment.
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
Our ambition is to provide the local medical technology industry many new ideas in various fields of action by combining medical research and engineering implementation. Firstly, there is the field of market communication, which is concerned with nationwide marketing of the medical technology location of Saxony-Anhalt. It is also concerned with showcasing the performance capabilities of the companies in the industry and relevant areas of science. We provide support for this by promoting the national and international market presence of companies as well as promotional measures, such as the development of cooperation with local health care facilities.
One of the focal points is the development of technology, which we intend to initiate with the establishment of technology platforms. The aim is to integrate external knowledge and new technologies in to regional companies in the medical technology industry. By expanding development activities in the companies as well as increasing vertical integration, we also have the short-term aim of strengthening the industrial base through the expansion of production.
In the medium to long term, the work of the cluster should lead to the development of new products. The establishment or deepening of stable research and development cooperation between companies and research institutions is necessary for this. Finally, the cluster provides support for national and international technology transfer as well as business start-ups in the research environment.
How will the industry in Saxony-Anhalt continue to develop?
Many challenges have to be overcome so that medical technology companies from Saxony-Anhalt can continue to live up to their reputation as innovation leaders in the global market. This is especially true for improving the effectiveness of research and development, reducing development times, increasing investment activity at the site, and ensuring fast access to the regulated and privately funded market for innovative medical technology products with a relevant benefit for patients.
The local medical technology with its high capacity for innovation will thereby actively shape the transformation of health care concepts as well as help further improve the quality and efficiency of the use of resources in the health care system. For this reason, the industry remains an important driver of economic growth in the region.
Who can approach you and with which concerns?
Any market participant interested in networking and innovation management is welcome to contact us. We are happy to help with identifying development trends and exploring the potentials of application-oriented research as well as the transfer of knowledge and technology drawing on the expertise from the industry, science and medicine. We also provide market and patent research, analysis of marketing opportunities and the development of a SWOT analysis. Of course, we coordinate concrete discussions on approaches to innovation and technology transfer between regional and national companies. Finally, we offer special events, corporate workshops and field trips in order to facilitate a nationwide exchange of experiences.
Author: Manuela Bock
Caption: Dr. Frank Fleischer
Tel.: +49 (0) 391/7 44 35 45
Fax: +49 (0) 391/7 44 35 11