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MedTech Incubator Hatches in Singapore

Southeast Asia’s largest medical device maker officially opened a new Technology Centre in Singapore yesterday. Minister for Communications and Information, and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations Mr S. Iswaran was present at the launch of the incubator in the island’s west at Tuas.

The MedTech company will invest more than SGD 10 million in building the incubator and advanced manufacturing facilities. This is part of the group’s earlier commitment to invest in deep technology startups.

According to the press release, its strategy is to invest in “highly-innovative, category-disrupting technology companies”. These companies will complement its own core urology business, in turn fuelling growth for its own business success.

Mr Abel Ang, the company’s Group Chief Executive said, “We know what it takes to bring successful products to the market, and the Technology Centre enables us to accelerate our plans for the future.”

Specs for MedTech

Spanning a mean 22 000 sq. ft., the Technology Centre offers incubator facilities and business services. However, these are available only to companies which have made investments in the MedTech solutions and appliances by the company. Companies under its portfolio umbrella are able to expand its synergies within a single locale. Those who partake in its services have access to cutting edge tech solutions.

Mr Beh Kian Teik, Assistant Managing Director of Singapore Economic Development Board said, “The Technology Centre is an important undertaking that brings together the deep engineering and design capabilities of a large corporate such as Accuron MedTech, with the agility of startups to enable the development of new solutions for regional and global healthcare needs from Singapore.”

The geographic proximity to the company’s global headquarters means participating companies also enjoy critical advanced manufacturing capabilities. These include rapid prototyping, turnkey manufacturing, cleanroom manufacturing and assembly, 3D printing, and medical device sterilisation.

Moreover, umbrella companies can benefit from the commercial support services and resources such as R&D, finance, HR and business development. The MedTech’s senior management team will be available to lend their expertise. The cumulative hundred over years of experience arms companies to commercialise their product on a global scale.

Economies of scale are achieved at the Technology Centre funnels the vision of companies to focus more on innovation. Unnecessary capital expenditure is not incurred nor bloated manpower structures. Companies can focus on bringing their medical devices to the market.

Mr Beh said, “Medical Technology companies are placing increasing emphasis on open innovation and collaboration, to catalyse value creation and product optimisation for medical devices.”

A Big Dose of MedTech

MedTech companies are important to Singapore. In Asia alone, the MedTech sector is believed to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 8%. Asia will overtake the European Union to become the second largest global market by 2020.

As Asia’s population booms, demand for healthcare services will soar proportionately. Citing a study, Minister S Iswaran said, “Asia-Pacific’s MedTech sector is expected to grow 50% from USD 88 billion in 2015 to USD 133 billion in 2020, making it the second-largest MedTech market in the world.”

Singapore believes its geographic location is strategic and wants MedTech companies to make the island their home. It is already home to more than 240 healthcare startups which have capabilities in digital pathology, diagnostic imaging and cardiovascular implants. More R&D centres from leading MedTech companies are also landing in Singapore.

MedTech startup companies which embrace transformative technologies like nanotechnology and artificial intelligence which have an attractive competitive edge. According to Minister S Iswaran, it is technologies like these which put Singapore in good stead for a host of rich regional and global opportunities.

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