Strengthening of research and innovation in the field of medical technology
North Rhine-Westphalia can draw on a broad spectrum of engineering-related and scientific research which can be exploited with the aim strengthening of research and innovation in the field of medical technology and - in particular - fostering technology transfer to practical applications. The following issues are of relevance here:
Strengthening of pre-competitive research with the goal of attracting increased Federal and EU funding to North Rhine-Westphalia and placing collaborative research activities on an international basis.Safeguarding the availability of talented young scientists for research establishments and business enterprises.Promotion of regional and nationwide cooperation between the actors working in key areas of medical research, e.g. cardiovascular disease and oncology.
Improving market access in the life sciences/health sectors
Medical technology is a heavily regulated market which places high demands in terms of marketing authorization and the reimbursement of treatment costs. Against this background it is important to provide qualified support for SMEs and start-ups in North Rhine-Westphalia with a view to enhancing regional competitiveness. It is equally important to open up the local market to companies based outside North Rhine-Westphalia. Important aspects are as follows:
Qualified consultancy services in connection with start-ups and business growth.Innovation scouting, i.e. the focused search for promising innovations developed by research establishments and SMEs.Input of capital by investors and foundations with the aim of promoting new ideas.Diversification, i.e. enterprises in other business sectors should be given access to innovative areas of the medical technology and healthcare markets.International networking of the cluster with the goal of ensuring market access for local enterprises and encouraging major corporations to locate in North Rhine-Westphalia.Support for companies aimed at increasing the transparency of marketing authorization procedures and regulatory requirements.
Integration of medical technology, medical research and innovative patient care
The integration of medical technology patient care - up to and including "hybrid innovation" - is without doubt one of the key issues determining the future configuration of value chains in the medical technology sector. Medical research plays an important, unifying role in this respect. The cluster management will therefore structure its assignments according to medical criteria. In concrete terms this will entail:
The stronger linkage between medical technology research and the core areas of medical research in North Rhine-Westphalia.The initiation and support of development and study platforms in cooperation with hospitals, research establishments and industry.The improved cooperation between health insurance funds, hospitals and industry in connection with the development, testing and initial deployment of technological innovations in North Rhine-Westphalia.The cost-benefit evaluation of innovative medical technology with regard to authorization for use in the healthcare sections (by the health insurance funds and the MDS).The promotion of innovative medical technology within the framework of regional and state-wide healthcare networks in North Rhine-Westphalia.
By adopting this holistic approach the cluster management will sustainably enhance the innovative capacity of the medical technology sector in North Rhine-Westphalia and bring about a significant improvement in competitiveness.
Open Health Innovation
Open Health Innovation takes up the idea of "Open Innovation" - i.e. a shift in perspective away from technology-driven innovation towards an innovation culture driven by user requirements. Open Innovation demands and promotes an approach that takes account of the user's geographical, social and process-related context. The intention is to achieve recursive interaction between innovation and the user's specific requirements, taking account of open cluster-related factors. The orientation towards patients and users is the decisive criterion for sustained and successful innovation in medicine and medical technology. This includes:
The continued interlinking of medical technology and innovative patient care. Relevant promotion programs will be designed and implemented.The targeted implementation of innovation roundtables consisting of users (e.g. physicians, nursing personnel and company representatives) with the goal of developing innovative medical devices on the basis of an improved exchange of knowledge.The systematic integration of cross-cluster initiatives such as medtec meets Bio, medtec meets ICT and medtec meets Novel Materials.