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New opportunities for the MedCare TechArea

Although the “MedCare TechArea” was not one of the five top clusters to recently receive an award from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the participants in the cluster are all of the view that the “Medical Technology and Health Tuttlingen/Neckar-Alb” cluster and its “MedCare TechArea” umbrella brand will be further developed despite the outcome of the competition. This was the conclusion reached at a meeting held on 3rd September 2008 in Tuttlingen involving the cluster representatives and the organisers of the different project platforms.

The representatives of the MedCare TechArea in Berlin (from the left: Dr. Ralf Kindervater, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg, Helmut Wehrstein, Karl Storz Endoskope, Josef Heiss, Landesinnung Chirurgiemechanik, Landrat Guido Wolf MdL, Dr. Thomas Kaiser, BIORPO Baden-Württemberg, Prof. Diethelm Wallwiener, Universitätsklinikum Tübingen, Dr. Harald Stallforth, Aesculap AG
The representatives of the MedCare TechArea in Berlin (from the left: Dr. Ralf Kindervater, BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg, Helmut Wehrstein, Karl Storz Endoskope, Josef Heiss, Landesinnung Chirurgiemechanik, District Administrator Guido Wolf MdL, Dr. Thomas Kaiser, BIORPO Baden-Württemberg, Prof. Diethelm Wallwiener, University Hospital Tübingen, Dr. Harald Stallforth, Aesculap AG) (Photo: BMBF/Kielmann)
Despite the jury’s rejection of their entry, the participants were of the view that their participation in the Top Cluster contest was responsible for setting the ball rolling in a process that has decisively moved the Tuttlingen/Neckar-Alb area forward. All participants agreed to utilise the positive and future-oriented drive to further develop ideas currently at the conceptual stage with the aim of turning them into reality. They agreed not to abandon what has been achieved so far. As a result, the cluster concept will be used as the basis for a master plan aimed at strengthening the region and the medical technology sector. Cluster management will be put in place to coordinate future activities and information on potential funding opportunities.

Top cluster competition will not fall by the wayside

Dr. Ralf Kindervater, CEO of BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH, coordinators of the cluster, explained to members of the cluster his thoughts on the jury’s decision. He raised the possibility of taking part in the second round of the Top Cluster contest in December 2008. The members agreed to wait for the feedback from the project management organisation and, after assessing the chances of success the second time around, adapting the concept accordingly in order to resubmit.

Independently of any future success, the initiators of the cluster are extremely keen to progress in their vision of a “MedCare TechArea”. They will spend next week discussing with the coordinators of the individual platform projects how the vision can be turned into reality. As a result of what happened in the Top Cluster contest, the concept will be subject to a detailed and critical analysis, and there will be a thorough investigation of the best way to move forward and fund the projects.

New opportunity from idea competition

Another potential opportunity for the team is the “Competition for the Strengthening of Regional Clusters in Baden-Württemberg”, launched by the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics in July 2008. This is a two-tier idea competition where contestants can submit any topic of their choice. The objective is to further promote the international competitiveness of Baden-Württemberg industry. Minister of Economic Affairs, Ernst Pfister, explained that the aim behind the competition is to initiate new cluster organisations on the regional level and to professionalise already existing initiatives – in particular through the development and extension of cluster management structures.

BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg will now assess whether the “MedCare TechArea” concept is suitable for this contest and coordinate the cluster’s participation in the contest if the concept seems promising. The project proposal will then be submitted before 22nd September 2008 and evaluated by an independent jury that will shortlist six initiatives. The winners of the first round will then receive total funding of €300,000 for three years. The money comes from the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRE).

Or – 12 September 2008
© BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH
Further information:
Petra Pauline Remmlinger
Head of Economic Development, Technology Transfer and Knowledge Management
BIOPRO Baden-Württemberg GmbH
Breitscheidstr. 10
70174 Stuttgart
Fax: +49 (0)711/218285-02
E-mail: remmlinger@bio-pro.de
Website address: https://www.gesundheitsindustrie-bw.de/en/article/news/new-opportunities-for-the-medcare-techarea