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Looking inward: the Stimulate campus focuses on technologies for image-guided, minimally invasive medical methods


“We profit from each other,” she says. “Projects become better known, and Magdeburg becomes amore popular location and attracts more inter- ested students, specialists andnewcompanies.”


Staying local Marcus Prier is research group leader of the MRI systemengineering group at the Otto-von- Guericke University Magdeburg. He is involved in projects linking Magdeburg and the US city of Boston. Although Boston is the world leader in medical imaging, he opted to stay in Magdeburg because of its excellence inmedical engineering, and theway in which the research campus Stimulate ismaking such animportant contribution to the local medtech ecosystem. “We have great support from Saxony-Anhalt


and the EU in the form of grants for our own prototyping lab,” says Mr Prier. “As one result, we’ve built up one of the finest electronic labs for rapid prototyping over the past three years. Our output of clinical imaging technology pro- totypes has achieved almost product-like qual- ity, which is very special for a university facility because prototypes fromuniversities aremostly far from product quality.” Dr Bennet Hensen is a radiologist at


Hanover Medical School (MHH), which is a member of the Stimulate Association. “The Stimulate research campus is an excellent loca- tion to set up a medtech company,” he says. “It offers access to medical universities such as University Hospital Magdeburg and MHH. It also offers a platformfor clinical and usability studies, and provides links between clinical experts, developers and company founders in our field of minimally invasive therapies.” Dr Hensen believes that Stimulate has been key to the collaboration needed toimprove inter-


ventional MRI scans. “It aims to drive innovation until companies can take it and create superior and competitive products,” he says. “Thenumer- ous company collaborations that we have built up over the past fewyears will enable us to trans- form the prototypes developed on campus into clinical reality over the next fewyears.”


Access to talent People living in Saxony-Anhalt say that local uni- versities and skills availability are a plus. “We have two large university cities, Halle and Magdeburg, which are knownfor their scientific and engineering focus,” says Ms Dombrowski. “For us, as a start-up, this is awelcoming environ- mentandwell-trained graduates easily findtheir waytous. Additionally,thestateis very interested in innovative developments and growing busi- nesses, and there is a good chance of getting sup- port and funding for future-orientated projects.” Mr Prier agrees: “Medical engineering is


complicated. Products need to be medical grade, and document processes to ensuremedi- cal product qualification are extensive. You need a critical mass of knowledgeable people covering many different disciplines to start something in the medical sector.” MrRimpler is optimistic about prospects for


the sector: “Medical technology is fundamen- tally innovative,” he says. “This has a positive effect on local economic development and beyond. The medical technology sector is a growth industry, is less prone to crises and will continue to provide stability in the mix of industries in Halberstadt.■


In association with Investment and Marketing Corporation (IMG) Saxony-Anhalt.Writing and editing were carried out independently by fDi Intelligence.


December 2020/January 2021 www.fDiIntelligence.com 83


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