News
03/02/2016

Incentives, dedicated policy, make Germany a hothouse for medtech

The German government has helped to create an environment that has made Germany one of the world's leading producers of medical technology. One of the latest public policy contributions to continued success is the 10-point program – called Vorfahrt für den Mittelstand, or in English essentially, "Priority for SMEs." Dedicated to helping small and mid-sized firms in particular, the interdisciplinary program also contains a set of special measures for SMEs working in medtech, as well as other incentives and supports for their counterparts in other industrial sectors.

Operating room
© istockphoto.com/ UygarGeographic
Medical technology industry

Medical technology companies are the specific focus of three key policies within the 10-point plan. One is tailored to meet the needs of trail-blazing, innovative medtech called "SMEs and Innovative Medical Technology." Its aim is to provide a reliable source of financial support for research and development (R&D) projects.

The second measure, "Medical Technology Solutions for Digital Health Care," is to aid in initiating digitally supported product, process or service innovations in healthcare. Although Germany's healthcare system is already considered by many to be one of the world's best, the ultimate goal, says the program brochure, is making sustainable improvements in patient care and the performance of Germany's healthcare system. It adds, "Digitalization of healthcare is causing the medical technology and information technology sectors to close ranks, and this is creating innovation potential for SMEs in the medical technology field."

The "Industry in a Clinical Setting Platform" is oriented towards SMEs that are testing new models of innovation and cooperation. Germany's Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) is implementing the 10-point program. It says of the third measure, "This strengthens cooperation between clinicians and innovators. We allow SMEs to develop and test new medical products in direct contact with the clinicians using them, while we also mitigate possible development risks."

Finally, to help medtech SMEs find the most suitable German government programs to speed their products from innovation to market, there is the newly created information platform Medizintechnologie.de. The BMBF says the website is to pave the way for SMEs during the R&D process, which due to diverse challenges at different stages leaves SMEs in particular with an increased need for information and advice.

This latest set of measures serves to make the medical technology sector fertile ground for those from abroad seeking to invest in Germany. In addition to a well-regulated business environment, the policies will contribute to driving innovation and help supply the financial support to back it.