Medical technology is indispensible for human health and contributes a great deal to improving the quality of our lives. The field of medical technology covers many areas. These range from simple disposable products and consumables such as dressing materials and other clinical supplies, to IT-related telemedicine, homecare and eHealth systems as well as high-technology and innovative robotics, imaging, diagnostics and life-support systems. 842 companies research, develop and/or produce in Baden-Württemberg, which makes it one of the leading locations in this field in Europe.
In 2019, the 842 medical technology companies achieved a taxable turnover of 14.26 billion euros with 53,162 employees subject to social security contributions. This makes Baden-Württemberg the no. 1 location for medical technology in Germany1. The highest regional concentration of medical technology companies is to be found in the Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg region centred on the city of Tuttlingen.
The Baden-Württemberg medical technology sector is a very traditional but extremely innovative industry that mainly consists of small- and medium-sized companies. It is also home to big companies such as Aesculap/B. Braun Melsungen, Bruker BiopSin and STRATEC Biomedical. This is where experts and traditionalists in the field of materials development and refinement as well as production techniques come together, along with developers and users of high-tech, novel biomaterials and artificial intelligence. This diversity of companies and entrepreneurship and the close links with centres of excellence, universities and university hospitals in Baden-Württemberg enable new developments to emerge across value chains and sectors.
In the period between 2010 and 2020, 104 medical technology companies were founded in Baden-Württemberg, seven of which were established between 1/2020 and 7/2021. The regions with a high number of start-ups over the last ten years are Mannheim/Heidelberg and Schwarzwald-Baar-Heuberg. These start-ups are involved across all fields of activity, with the eHealth sector showing considerable growth in recent years. Half of all start-ups between 1/2018 and 7/2021 are active in this segment.
The spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship in Baden-Württemberg must continue to be strengthened and driven forward through intensive networking and cooperation in order to counter the pressure from global or non-industry competitors.
1) Spectaris: Die deutsche Medizintechnik-Industrie, Spectaris Jahrbuch 2020/21, online abrufbar unter https://www.spectaris.de/fileadmin/Content/Medizintechnik/Zahlen-Fakten-Publikationen/SPECTARIS_Jahrbuch2020-21_11-2020_Lesezeichen_3.pdf