Under the working title of "EuroPro+MeD", which stands for European Prosthesis + Medical Devices, BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, Germany, Pôle Technologique de Haute-Champagne, (PTHC) France and the Medical Cluster, Switzerland have signed a strategic partnering agreement to boost joint cross-border cooperation projects between their respective companies and research institutes in the field of medical technology. The partnership was made official on 24 September 2009 under the patronage of Luc Chatel, the French Minister of National Education during the international "PROSTHESIA" conference which took place in Nogent, France.
"In today's world, small and medium-sized companies as well as corresponding research institutes can only be successful in such specific fields as medical technology and associated sectors when they look beyond national borders and start to think and act in a transnational fashion," states Dr. Régis Flot, President of PTHC. This is why a third partner, the Medical Cluster from Switzerland with headquarters in Bern, has now joined BioRegio STERN and the PTHC who already signed a German-French cooperation agreement in the middle of this year. In this new, expanded network, almost 500 companies and research institutes in the field of medical technology with more than 25.000 employees can now communicate easily and efficiently as well as enter into joint specific research and cooperation projects.
"The aim of this new European Medtech Network is to build on the promising results which have already been reached on regional and national levels in order to unlock potential synergies existing between the three new partners on a transnational basis", explains Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, Managing Director of BioRegio STERN. "We believe this is the best way to boost the innovative strength, market opportunities and international competitiveness of the participating companies in all three countries".Several themes have already been determined for close cooperation between the respective clusters e.g. the surface treatment of metals and other materials used in medical technology in a broad sense. Complementarities in the clusters will be boosted to use already existing strengths in order to emerge on new paths of joint research, development and ultimately production. This will ultimately improve the competitiveness of all the companies in the three networks. Other ideas for research and the development of products are longer-lasting prostheses and tracking the use of medtech instruments using RFID chips to lower risks in operating theatres throughout the product lifespan."We are pursuing really active and constructive forms of cooperation and will start by getting to know each other better in business roundtables before we get down to joint research and development. We are also planning to participate in joint European research projects with companies and research institutes from all three countries. The resulting synergies and knowledge transfer will intensify networking in the EuroPro+MeD cluster and create significant added value for the European medtech market on the whole," explains Peter Biedermann, Manager of the Medical Cluster in Switzerland.