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German medtech cluster hooks up with Hong Kong

Described as a win both for a German medical technology cluster in the Nuremberg region and Hong Kong’s Science Park and medtech industry, an agreement signed on May 12 promotes cooperation among medical technology companies in both locations. The initiative signed by the Medical Valley European Metropolitan Region Nuremberg (EMN), the Hong Kong Biotechnology Organization (HKBIO) and the Hong Kong Medical and Healthcare Device Industries Association (HKMHDIA) has a budget of €3 million, reports the South China Morning Post.

Hong Kong Science Park.

Noting that new magnetic resonance imaging technology is in the pipeline, Matthias Hiegl, part of Medical Valley EMN management, said that, while Germany has an existing MRI infrastructure, “the question for us is whether the market size is big enough to develop the product in Germany? I think not,” said Hiegl. He and his partners have no such qualms about Hong Kong’s infrastructure.

Hong Kong companies have long-standing ties with manufacturers and distributors in mainland China, reports the South China Morning Post, adding that the “initiative stands to benefit from China’s 13th Five Year Plan, which targets the development of robots for surgery, medical imaging technology, wearable devices and equipment for traditional Chinese medicine.”

The cooperation, which is described as being in a preliminary phase, also will encourage Hong Kong biotech companies to use Germany as a base for their European operations, according to Andrew Young, the chief commercial officer at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks.

If successful, Medical Valley EMN told the Post that it would seek further funding to expand the project beyond 2017.

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