Explore North America’s Largest Annual Medtech Event

What are you doing February 6-8, 2018? How about coming by to visit with people from Creation Technologies manufacturing and design teams at Booth 546 at Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) West ?

It’s going to be quite an event this year, and we’re really looking forward to reconnecting with industry friends as well as meeting new people. MD&M West is always a great place to solve existing challenges and be inspired by everything new in the MedTech industry.

At MD&M West you’ll find the largest showcase of MedTech suppliers in the country, plus a full spectrum of solutions across the advanced design and manufacturing supply chain. Whether you’re interested in product design, new materials, intelligent sensors, testing solutions, components, packaging, or anything else needed to bring your concept to market, you can source from more than 2,000 cutting-edge suppliers in a time-saving format. Free presentations, interactive events, and fun activities throughout the expo make this a can’t-miss event.

Featuring its biggest program yet, the MD&M West conference will deliver four tracks of expert-led MedTech education you won’t find anywhere else — plus additional smart manufacturing and 3D printing programs — all with unlimited track hopping.   This year MD&M offers a full day of conferences focused on Medical Device Security.  This rigorous conference program will address security and privacy challenges for connected healthcare devices.

This is your chance to get up to speed with the strategies and techniques that turn concepts into competitive products. Curated with the help of an expert advisory team, this unmatched program is made by the industry for the industry and packed with information crucial to every stage in the development process.

Learn about Creation Technologies’ flexible model, integrated solutions and dedicated Customer-Focused Teams and how we offer a complete customized solution that delivers what our customers need…their way. Creation’s experience and robust systems help OEMs avoid costly surprises, get to market faster and scalability to achieve your business goals.

We would love to meet you and learn more about how we can help you meet your future goals. Drop by Booth #546 and learn how we do it.

You can use our Promo Code:  Special when registering and receive a free Expo Pass or 20% off Conference Pricing

Hope to see you there!

 

5 Questions to Ask a Potential Design Partner

With institutions like Harvard University and MIT in its backyard, the city of Boston has a storied tradition for academic and research excellence. It should come as no surprise that the New England region also possesses a thriving medical technology and manufacturing sector.

Last week, Creation Technologies was one of over 400 suppliers that attended the BIOMEDevice Boston event. For two days, engineers, innovators, and suppliers connected and collaborated on projects that will transcend the health care industry.

For medical device OEMs that attended the show, filtering through the many design firm options can be a daunting task – with cost, quality, experience, and location all considerations.

In order to identify the right fit for your design needs, here are 5 questions you should be asking a potential design partner.

 

1.  Is your process ISO 13485 Registered?     

ISO 13485 represents the requirements for a quality management system for the design and manufacturing of medical devices. You should not even consider any supplier that does not have a registered quality system. Many design firms may say that they have compliant processes but have not obtained ISO 13485.  While you may plan to execute the design project under your internal quality system, it is still important your partner has experience developing products within the controls of an ISO 13485 quality system.  Their estimates will be more accurate, execution will be more efficient, and your design partner maybe able to assist in the continuous improvement of your internal quality system.

 

2.  Who owns the Intellectual Property?

Your IP should be your IP. Many medical device OEMs elect to share their intellectual property with a design firm because the upfront development costs may initially appear to be less.

There are potential risks involved in co-developing your IP with a design partner such as:

  • The design partner could potentially license that IP to your competitors and charge you an ongoing royalty on your own product.
  • The design partner could get acquired by another corporation, who might leverage the IP into its products, enabling the competition.
  • The design partner could extend your joint IP, enabling future generation capability and leveling the playing field with your competitors.
  • A lack of alignment on the long-term use of the IP can actually delay the development of the IP and the product causing undue risk of missing your market window and costing many times more than the originally perceived potential savings.

It is more beneficial in the long run to own your IP and leverage a design partner to develop and transition your product into volume manufacturing.

 

3.  How do you Approach Unit Costing?

An experienced design partner will identify potential cost implications early in the development process. Many times, inexperienced design firms will adhere to demands to medical device OEMs without assessing the long-term implications. This could drive the unit costs up and delay the development program.

As a result, OEMs find out late in the process that they won’t meet their unit cost targets and their business assumptions were incorrect from the onset. If this is the situation, it is critical it is discovered as early as possible in the development cycle that product strategies can be reassessed and meaningful changes can be made to the project plan.

In order to control unit costs, it is also a good idea to partner with a design partner with strong manufacturing relationships so that accurate estimates of manufacturing costs are established. Many design-only companies struggle in the design to manufacturing transfer process because they don’t have the experience or the sophisticated tools required to execute seamlessly and are surprised when actual manufacturing cost information is available..

 

4.  How Financially Flexible are you?

High upfront costs can be a huge barrier for medical device OEMs. Many design firms may demand full advanced payment of the entire program before starting the development project. This is a red flag because it indicates a lack of trust and financial controls. Additionally, a design partner shouldn’t be using your cash for their operational liquidity needs.

Design firms that are financially strained cannot be relied upon to make your product their priority. There are many projects risk that you and your design partner will need to face together, the risk of insolvency and staffing changes are not risks a design partner should bring to your product development effort.

Partnering up with an established design firm with strong financial footing may afford you better terms and credit, allowing you to be more flexible with your resources. Larger design firms also will have proper insurance and quality processes to support you in the event of a product liability claim.

 

5.  How Far Along can you take us?

There are lots of design firms that will happily enjoy the revenue provided from developing your product for as long as they can. But to ensure program and product success, your partner’s financial motivations must be aligned with yours.  If you partner is not capable of supporting your product through transition to production manufacturing and sustaining support, it will be difficult for your organizations to remain aligned.  Invest your time with a design partner you can envision building a long-term relationship with.  One who will be able to and motivated to serve you throughout the lifecycle of your product.

Find a company that is multi-disciplinary, that can help take your concept from napkin to manufacturing to after-market services.

And lastly, make sure you work with a company and people that you like. There will be times of conflict and challenging situations, so you will want to be with a design partner that will support you and understand your needs.

 

An Insider’s Guide to MD&M West: Managing the Madness

Photo Credit: medikalkume.com

 

Let’s be honest, tradeshows can be a bit crazy. With massive exhibition spaces filled with an infinite amount of people, booths and conference sessions over multiple days, it can sometimes be overwhelming to make best use of your time (especially if it’s your first visit to a particular show).

While MD&M West is not as big as a CES or Comic Con, it is one of the largest medical technology tradeshows in the world, attracting more than 20,000 engineers and executives.  It’s a great place to be.

Because designing and manufacturing medical devices is a huge part of what Creation does best, we enjoy making the annual trek to Anaheim, CA  (really not so much a trek as a hop, skip and a jump from our San Jose location) to exhibit, network and learn about the trends in the industry.

For medical device OEMs planning on attending MD&M this February, we created a guide based on our experience that will help you maximize your time, conserve your energy, and get the most ROI out of your trip.

 

Do Your Homework

This might seem like common sense, but it is always a good idea to get familiar with the lay of the land ahead of time and start planning.

You wouldn’t go to Disneyland without mapping out which rides or shows to visit first would you?

 

  1. Save Time, Register in Advance

The first thing you want to do is to preregister for the show. Doing this in advance helps you get set up and ready to go so that you are not spending your first hours standing in lines.

 

  1. Scout Your Prospects

Next, look at the list of exhibitors on the MD&M West website and determine which booths you want to visit, whether an EMS provider or a plastics manufacturing specialist. You also want to plan your visits based on proximity. Try setting up meetings in advance.

Our suggestion is to visit the websites of the companies that you are interested in. Create a spreadsheet and make notes on each, so you have their basic information (their services, location, clients, etc.) available and you can prepare questions you want to ask. In the spreadsheet, also put down their booth location. Download and print out a floor map as well.  The MD&M West team does a great job of making this easy.

 

 

  1. Be ‘In The Know’

You also want to go to the conference schedule to see what learning sessions, keynote speeches and networking events are must-dos. With MD&M West, you have the option to export the schedule via email, spreadsheet or print. Remember some sessions are free while other conferences and workshops have fees (for which you might have to register or pay in advance).

 

Beat the Clock

With multiple things going on simultaneously during an event, time management is crucial if you want to maximize your productivity. Being aware of the schedule and peak times will help eliminate delays, lines and missed opportunities.

  1. Get Ahead

Without question, you want to be early every day (especially the first day).

Since MD&M West opens at 10 am, it is best to head to the Anaheim Convention Center before 9 am to beat the rush. The parking lot and late-morning shuttles fill up very quickly. Typically, the first two days are the busiest, while the crowds thin out drastically on Day 3.

 

  1. “Do” Lunch

The lunch crowds are also large, so unless you consider waiting in a 50-person line a prime networking opportunity (do you want chicken or beef?), you are better off going to the concessions or Starbucks during off-peak hours (example: 11 am or 2 pm).

For those who are not feeling the food at the convention center, there is a food court on the first floor of the neighboring Hilton Anaheim with faster and cheaper dining options. But those get crowded as well.

Remember, MD&M West is a marathon not a sprint. Makes sure to pace yourself for the three days and don’t try to do and see everything. Take breaks during the day, whether that is a walk outside or resting on any free comfortable chair in the hallways.

 

Dress for Success (and Here We Really Mean Substance over Style)

The most important item you can pack for MD&M West is good walking shoes.

The exhibit floor at the Anaheim Convention Center is over 800,000 sq. feet – so that is a lot of walking!

The majority of people dress in business casual, so unless you have a crucial meeting, you can leave your shiny shoes or heels in the hotel room.

 

  1. Bring It

On top of attire, bring a backpack to hold water, snacks, business cards (we know you wouldn’t miss this!), a notebook, and room for all the brochures and free swag you will be collecting at the booths you visit. From laser pens to t-shirts to the candy that keeps you going – collecting free swag is the best part of tradeshows!

 

Photo: ocstructure.blogspot.ca

 

  1. Meet and Mingle

Conferences are not solely about fulfilling immediate business goals and closing deals onsite.

Professionals in every industry recognize the value of building relationships and having fun together to recognize alignment and shared vision – at Creation we know the importance of liking the people you do business with, and at events we have the opportunity to share laughs, games, gimmicks, cocktail hours, impersonators and entertainment at booths and on stage.

Again, pace yourself, it is a three-day show.

 

Educate Yourself: Network and Ask Great Questions

Whether you are in the market for a new EMS provider or need design assistance, make sure you find the company that is right for you to partner with.

 

  1. Is This a Fit?

When visiting different booths, come prepared. You only discover if a company is a fit if you ask good, relevant questions. The more specific the better.

For example, if you are looking for an EMS partner, you can ask about:

  • Traceability and Visibility – Do you have a tool that tracks every step of your work?
  • Design – Are your facilities ISO 13485-certified and FDA-registered?
  • NPI – How fast can you get a new product out?
  • Transfer – Do you have experience with Class I, II, or III devices? (domestic and offshore)

 

  1. Competitive Analysis

Besides booth visits, MD&M West provides a platform to network. There will be opportunities to meet people within your specific industry, and find opportunities to collaborate or share ideas during different networking sessions or workshops. You will also be in contact with a lot of your competitors – which is not necessarily a bad thing. You can learn from what they are doing well as well as identify what areas you need to improve in.

Make sure to be friendly, give and take business cards, and follow up with your new contacts after the show. You never know how those relationships can benefit you down the line.

 

Fun in the Sun

Although MD&M West may be a business trip, you might as well turn it into a mini-vacation. There aren’t too many places better than Southern California in February.

 

  1. Plenty of Options

After the show ends on Thursday, you can potentially spend the weekend in one of the several nearby cities like Los Angeles, Palm Springs or San Diego. But perhaps staying local is best. Anaheim is home to Disneyland, which is the happiest place on earth!

 

Photo: currentresults.com

 

So now that you know what to expect from MD&M West, you can now take full advantage of this great opportunity. After your three days, you should go back home with exciting new contacts, new ideas, and a better understanding on what steps you need to take to be a major player in the medical device industry.

If you are lucky, you will also come home with a nice tan.

Tips for Engineers to Avoid Hidden Development Costs and Delays

I have yet to meet an engineer who enjoys seeing costs pile up during the design and development process.

And unexpected costs are definitely unwelcome visitors in the drive for product commercialization.

If you’d like some new, actionable ideas for getting a new product to market quickly and without those unexpected, expensive guests, here’s a suggestion for you…

Attend ‘How to Avoid Hidden Costs and Delays in the Product Design-to-Commercialization Cycle’ next week at PCB West in Santa Clara.

How to Avoid Hidden Costs and Delays in the Product Design-to-Commercialization Cycle: Creation Technologies Technical Workshop at PCB West

In this two-hour, technical workshop, Todd Dierking, Creation’s Director of Design Services and Todd Baggett, Creation’s EVP of Integrated Services, will share their engineering and component expertise to help you:

  • Get the right tradeoffs between Time and Money
  • Assess and define requirements to meet design controls, minimize costs, and still bring your creativity to the project
  • Simplify the prototyping process with some cost-effective technical techniques, as well as a checklist for commercial considerations that will help you make the best choice for each stage of prototyping
  • Uncover the ‘hidden costs’ of designing in the wrong materials

While you’re there, drop by Booth #216 and meet a team from Creation–San Jose, our rapid prototyping/manufacturing facility that’s about 10 minutes from the Santa Clara Convention Center.

Hope we’ll see you there!

More information here in our recent press release.

New York Impact & Women Leaders in Medical: An Interview with MedTech’s Jessica Crawford

I had an opportunity to catch up again with Jessica Crawford, President of New York-based MedTech, connecting bioscience, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies. Jessica and I discussed the success of the inaugural New York Medtech Week, the amazing innovation in New York State, and the upcoming MEDTECH 2016 conference.

 

The Inaugural New York Medtech Week

Janelle Urchenko: Jessica, it’s great to have the chance to catch up with you. I know that the MedTech team has been up to some exciting things lately, like June’s inaugural New York Medtech Week! Tell me more about it. Was it as successful as you’d envisioned?

Jessica Crawford: Absolutely! New York Medtech Week is a week-long initiative highlighting the numerous innovations and medical device companies in New York State that save lives throughout the region and around the world.

In this, the Week’s first year, we were able to share some incredible stories of why MedTech member companies do business in NYS. We also had a social media campaign, highlighting our medical device companies and the economic role the medical device industry plays in the various regions in NYS.

I would love to expand on this more for the 2017 New York Medtech Week and encourage our member companies, and other medical device companies in the state, to celebrate Medtech Week with us.

Technology Innovation Trends - an artistic mindmap from MD&M East
Technology Innovation Trends – an artistic mindmap from MD&M East

 

JU: I know MD&M East played a key role in this year’s New York Medtech Week. The Creation Technologies team and the team from iuvo BioScience, another MedTech member company, had a great time learning and meeting new people in the medical device industry at the conference and enjoyed spending time together in the MedTech booth.

JC: I’m glad to hear that Creation Technologies and iuvo BioScience had such a positive experience at the show! The reception sponsored by the two companies on Tuesday night was a huge success and drew numerous MD&M East attendees to our booth.

For our part, it was a great opportunity for MedTech to work with UBM Americas, the organization that plans all of the MD&M events, on an expanded partnership to launch Medtech Week. UBM has a strong following, so it was very beneficial in pushing the message out about New York Medtech Week and reaching many individuals in the medical device industry, not just our member companies.

Creation Technologies Chicago GM Dan Dery & Creation Design Services Sean Priddy setting up for the Cocktail Reception with iuvo Bioscience at the MedTech booth at MD&M East
Creation Technologies Chicago GM Dan Dery & Creation Design Services Sean Priddy setting up for the Cocktail Reception with iuvo Bioscience at the MedTech booth at MD&M East

 

Amazing Things for Medical OEMs in New York State

JU: One of the things that struck the Creation Technologies team at this year’s show was the diversity of conference attendees. Since our role in the industry is to design, commercialize and manufacture medical devices for OEMs, we really enjoyed the opportunity to learn first-hand the profound impact these products have for end users – patients, hospital administrators, doctors both in clinical practice and in academia. What is one of your key takeaways from MD&M East?

JC: For us, the key takeaway from this show is how essential the medical device industry is within the healthcare ecosystem. As the eighth largest medical device presence in the nation, the industry in New York State accounts for more than 13,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in overall economic impact. In Upstate NY alone, the medical device industry employs 8,400 residents across 141 business establishments.

While at MD&M East, it was great to see the 900+ companies exhibiting, many of which were from NYS or the Northeastern part of our nation. With so many leading companies under one roof, the networking and collaboration at this is event was palpable and we were so pleased to have supported this event as it helps to continue growing the Bio/Med industry in NYS.

 

JU: 13,000 jobs and 4.6 billion dollars – that’s a tremendous impact. What is at the core of this expanding New York State bioscience and medical technology market? Where is the energy and passion coming from?

JC: The numerous economic incentive programs in New York State help to maintain New York as a leader in the industry and continue to energize companies across the state. Since 2001, the region has seen strong employment growth in research, testing and medical labs (up 48%) and bioscience-related distribution (up to 9%) that outpaced national growth. The most highly concentrated industry subsector in the state is drugs and pharmaceuticals with a concentration that is 8% greater than that seen nationally.

 

MedTech President Jessica Crawford and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul kick off New York MedTech Week
MedTech President Jessica Crawford and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul kick off New York MedTech Week

 

Women in Leadership – Medical and Beyond

JU: Speaking of government and its strong advocacy for economic growth in the medical sector, it must have been a treat to have Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul as part of the New York Medtech Week kick-off. Not only does her participation underscore the importance of the Week and the opportunity for New York to lead the way in medical device innovation, it also highlights the fact that many of the people now leading the way are women. What’s it been like to work with her?

JC: Working with Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul is always a great experience.

A Buffalo native, Hochul is a true friend to our state and to MedTech, and we were honored to have her speak at our annual conference, MEDTECH 2015. Hochul and her team work relentlessly with Governor Andrew Cuomo to continue helping medical device companies in the state and improve the overall economy of NYS.

She and her team continue to impress me, specifically with their responsiveness and interest in helping NYS companies. At MD&M East she met with one of our member companies that is interested in expanding in Upstate New York. Hours after she left the event, she followed up with the company interested in setting up a meeting. It’s that level of responsiveness that makes working with her such a great experience.

 

MEDTECH 2016

JU: MEDTECH 2016 is coming up quickly! What can we expect from this year’s annual conference?

JC: That’s right, MEDTECH 2016 is just around the corner, scheduled for September 26-28 at the Albany Hilton in Albany, N.Y. While MEDTECH 2015 focused on the need for industry collaboration and leveraging the strengths of non-traditional partnerships, MEDTECH 2016 will focus on the need for New York State companies to effectively innovate and what the upcoming election means to the Bio/Med industry.

 

JU: We’re excited to attend again this year, and I know Sean Priddy from Creation Design Services is looking forward to being on one of the panel discussions in the always-interesting Innovation & Technology track.

Last question for you, Jessica. Leaders like Kathy Hochul are having an obvious impact on the growth and success of the medical industry. As the President of MedTech, what has it been like for you personally as a woman in a leadership role in the medical industry? What advice would you offer other woman leaders and entrepreneurs?

JC: My biggest piece of advice for women looking to take on leadership roles in the medical industry is to be passionate about the industry that you work in and continue to grow your professional network. My interest in healthcare and passion for helping our members succeed is what drives me every day. Each week I meet with companies that share the same desire for pursuing medical breakthroughs and improving the health of all. It’s these individuals that motivate me to continue to be my best.

 

Women in Tech: Vancouver Leaders Aim to Change Perception and Stats

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Behind every successful company is a team of successful leaders. These are people who not only bring new ideas that help further the company, but also inspire those around them to be the best versions of themselves.

More and more of these leaders are women. There are several prominent women CEOs for Fortune 500 companies: Mary Barra (General Motors), Ursula M. Burns (Xerox), Safra A. Catz (Oracle) – just to name a few. However, despite all the progress, there is still a lack of women leaders in the tech industry.

A recent Reuters study revealed that 30 percent of technology executives polled stated that there were no women in leadership positions at their companies. In Canada, women only make up 24 percent of the tech positions.

Addressing these stats has been a priority in the Vancouver, BC area, where several prominent tech companies like Creation Technologies and Hootsuite are based. Organizations like SheTalks bring together women from technology to share success stories and inspire others to follow their lead.

At the SheTalks Tech event last November, leaders in the local tech space challenged the audience to strive for greatness as well as offered insightful words of wisdom.

 

“Is where you are at today going to take you to where you want to go?” – Jeannette Patell, Government Affairs and Policy Leader (Energy), GE

“Leadership belongs to those who takes it.” – Kimberly Wysseier, Recruitment Consultant, Annex Consulting Group

“Don’t think about the glass ceiling” – Joyce Hung, HR Director, Global Relay

“How you show up for work is far more important than hard work” – Anamika Mukherjee, Air and Energy Efficiency Specialist, Cenovus

“New adventure and experiences will trump your fear” – Shachi Kurl, Senior Vice President, Angus Reid

“Don’t sell ourselves short and don’t overlook” – Dr. Lyn Anglin, Chief Scientific Officer, Imperial Metals Corporation of Vancouver

 “Having a strong and loving support group by your side to help you when you are down will get you far in life” – Ana Cantu, General Manager, Creation Technologies Vancouver

 

Ana Cantu, the general manager for Creation Technologies’ Vancouver location, was one of the women invited to deliver an 8-minute speech.

“When I was asked to speak I thought, ‘What I’m I going to talk about?’” said Ana. “And then I started getting excited just with the idea that I could share my life experiences and impact women.”

Ana has been beating the odds ever since she first set foot in Canada over 10 years ago. In her talk, Ana reminisced about moving to Canada from Mexico, leaving her strong family, culture and support group to start a new life with her husband and young child.

However, starting a new life in Canada came with growing pains. Despite the challenges, including a divorce, Ana was able to build a flourishing and fulfilling career at Creation Technologies, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2016.

Ana wants her experiences to inspire other women in tech to find their passion and challenge themselves. In her speech, she shared three crucial questions each woman should ask themselves.

 

What is your DRIVE?

Ana: “For me the core values that my parents instilled in me, hard work, performance, wanting to be better.”

What is the HELIUM of your balloon?

Ana: “In my case, the helium that fills my balloon is a sense of belonging and being part of a community. I want to add value to people’s lives.”

Who is in your TRIBE, who is your support group?

Ana: “I have found that in Canada people highly value their independence – which is good. However, I can tell you from experience that if you have a loving and supportive group of people around you, you will get far in life. I know having a support group helped tremendously for me.”

 

While Ana is one of the success stories for women in tech, the stats still say that the industry has a long way to go.

“I think most women mentioned that they struggle with self-confidence,” Ana said. “So it’s pretty important that we share with other women that this is something that happens, we all go through it but it should never be something that will discourage you from achieving something great.”

Are Innovation and Collaboration Inherently Linked?

Creation Technologies President and CEO at MEDTECH 2015

How are solution providers like Creation Technologies innovating to drive long-term growth and success as companies, and as business leaders in manufacturing and the high-tech sector? Collaboration plays a defining role.

Bhawnesh Mathur, Creation’s President and CEO, recently shared his thoughts on collaboration throughout the business ecosystem on the Manufacturing Innovation panel on the Strategy & Development Track at MEDTECH 2015 in Buffalo, New York:

“The world has discovered that you don’t have to have a lot of patents [to be successful]. We say that patents are a measure of how innovative we are, or that our country is, but that isn’t necessarily the case.

I think what we’ve learned in the last several years is that collaboration between, i) academia and businesses, and ii) businesses working together and sharing resources and costs, creates technology that makes the country more innovative, and helps the country become more growth-oriented.

With the deployment of NNMI – the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation where companies and academia are working together – that [organizations] are working together because I think they believe that we can develop technology better, faster, that way. I think they believe we’ll create more jobs in North America that way, they believe there is a faster route to innovation that way. It’s a model that doesn’t [provide a particular company with] a lot of patents.

I think what’s happened to the world over the last several years is that, while I absolutely agree with [others on the panel] that you have to protect customers’ intellectual property, and trade secrets and capture [critical information] in your QMS (Quality Management System), that this fear that we’ve got to have thousands or millions of patents to be “good” is something that runs contrary to collaboration and working together to [create] a more robust economy.”

Now us marketing folk are always thinking about our value proposition and how we can drive customer success. At Creation, though, it’s literally everyone across the company who thinks about our enterprise value as more than just a measure of growing revenue and improving profitability. As more than just a function of winning business.

I’m proud, and lucky, to have a CEO, a leadership team, and a company culture dedicated to building strategic partnerships through collaboration, candor and shared objectives. A team that sees collaboration as intrinsically tied to innovation and long-term success. As the responsibility of a corporation in the economic ecosystem.


To the MEDTECH conference attendees, Bhawnesh posed the question:

“Do we want to share with each other, or patent what we know? It’s an interesting dilemma. My observation is that [the global mindset] is changing more toward working together and delivering more success.”

Our motto of Working Together to Build the Future is core to the value we believe Creation Technologies provides as an EMS partner. What role do strategic relationships and collaboration play in your organization’s plans for growth and long-range contribution as a business leader?

 
Watch the video:
 

 

Why I loved MEDTECH 2015

Buffalo

Buffalo, NY, is not generally recognized as a hub for technology and innovation. But that is exactly what the city looked and felt like to me when it hosted MEDTECH 2015, one of the largest and most impactful medical technology conferences in the state of New York.

Over the last decade, I have definitely noticed a transition in the city of Buffalo and in the surrounding region. As part of the recent “Buffalo Billions” initiative, the state of New York has invested a significant amount of resources and time into innovation, infrastructure and education. This is in an effort to spur Buffalo and western New York’s economy and enrich the quality of life for its residents.

During this time of year, where many of us are reflecting on 2015, I wanted to share the great experience that all of us from Creation who attended MEDTECH 2015 back in October had. Here are a few of my highlights:

  • A Booth with a View: The site of the conference, the brand new Harbor Center Complex in downtown Buffalo, had an ice rink and we could actually watch a Buffalo Sabres practice from our booth!
  • Inspiring Speakers: The closing keynote by IBM Watson Health was very interesting and engaging. The speaker, Mike Svinte, spoke about Big Data and the Internet of Things, and how they apply to our day-to-day lives – particularly in the manufacturing sector.
  • Exchanging Ideas: During the two days, we were able to interact with a lot of other MedTech members. It was interesting to hear about new technologies and innovative medical devices that are part of the New York landscape and are actively contributing to the renewal of the region. We hope that we can partner with more of these great companies and create devices that will enrich lives.
  • A Well-Oiled Machine: MedTech did an excellent job of planning the event and setting customized agendas. The collaboration tracks were an interesting way to allow attendees to pick the content they wished to take in and the workshops they wanted to attend.
  • Local Revolution: During the two days at MEDTECH we heard some of the same words being used over and over: reinvention, revitalization, innovation, and growth. One of the goals of the conference was for leaders in the local medical technology industry to collaborate and share ideas that will further the community.

MEDTECH also presented some great opportunities for our CEO, Bhawnesh Mathur, to connect with leaders and influencers from the region. With Creation being an EMS partner that has long served medical device companies, our CEO was eager to speak about how innovation, collaboration, and partnership in the manufacturing sector could drive economic growth.

Here is the video of Bhawnesh sharing his thoughts as part of the panel discussion on “Strategy & Development Track: Manufacturing Innovation.”

It will be interesting to see how MEDTECH 2015 attendees apply these concepts in the next 12 months. I am looking forward to coming back next year to see how far we’ve come, and make plans to go even further.

Creation Team Golfs for MS Research at the Electronics Charity Open

ECO_Sept28 (002)

Every year, the electronics manufacturing industry in the greater Vancouver area comes together for an afternoon in the sun to golf, and more importantly, to raise money for the MS Society of Canada.

The Electronics Charity Open golf tournament is the only one of its kind for our industry in British Columbia. I’ve had the pleasure of attending with the Creation Technologies team for over 5 years now.

This year, the tournament’s 10th anniversary, was the best to date. And I’m not just saying that because Creation had a big part in the planning!

According to the main organizer and host, Kuldip (Cub) Parmar from Avnet Electronics Marketing, this year’s event broke records! It drew in roughly 100 golfers and raised over $7,000 for Multiple Sclerosis research.

The tournament always presents plenty of opportunities to mix business and pleasure throughout the day, and it was great seeing a nice mix of our suppliers, customers, competitors, and potential customers. I especially enjoyed being able to talk with many of our key suppliers face-to-face, whether it was on the greens or in the clubhouse.

As for the golf, it was another beautiful BC day. This year’s tournament was hosted at the gorgeous Redwoods Golf Course in Langley, British Columbia. My foursome probably could have putted a little better, but we were lights-out off the tee (We all know that driving is for show, and putting is for dough!). Although nobody from Creation won (the winning foursome was from Link2 Manufacturing), I did, however, win one of the hole prizes, which was the longest two-putt.

Cub did an excellent job hosting as well as making sure that the 10th anniversary was memorable, including the prizes! There were many drivers given out, golf apparel, rounds of golf at some nice courses around town, a night at the Delta hotel in Burnaby, a signed Canucks jersey and many other things.

Creation was honored to be one of the Open’s primary sponsors, assisting with providing volunteers, setting up the website, and promoting the tournament. We were also able to provide a trip for two anywhere in Canada and continental US, along with 2 pairs of concert tickets (from our AMEX partner), and a foursome at the Furry Creek golf course. We also sponsored a “Beat the Pro” hole.

Full disclosure… I did not beat the pro.

A great addition this year was the TapSnap photo booth, with props that made the pictures hilarious and awkward. I’m very proud to have talked our executive contact at one of our largest suppliers into putting on a shell ‘bikini’ top!

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It was, all in all, a great day and a lot of fun. We raised money for an incredible cause, and I can’t wait for next year!

Innovation, Influence and Impact: An Interview with MedTech’s Jessica Crawford

I had an opportunity to catch up with Jessica Crawford, President of New York-based MedTech, heading into the week of MEDTECH 2015. Jessica and I discussed today’s most significant opportunities and business challenges for bioscience and medical technology OEMs.

 

MedTech's Jessica Crawford Interview with Creation Technologies

Janelle Urchenko: Tell us more about the origins of MedTech. I understand it grew from the idea of transforming Upstate New York into a knowledge-based economy.

Jessica Crawford: MedTech was founded in 2004 by four New York State bioscience and medical technology (Bio/Med) companies – Bristol-Myers Squibb, ConMed Corporation, Sensis Corporation (acquired by Saab in 2011), and Welch Allyn.

MedTech was formed at the urging of then New York Senator Hilary Clinton in response to an economic development plan recommending closer collaboration among medical products and services firms to help grow the region’s knowledge-based economy. The idea was that by acting together we would have greater success, benefitting industry as well as the entire region with more knowledge-based jobs, which are higher paying with greater economic impact.

Our mission is really an economic development one – forming an epicenter of Bio/Med activity by developing the relationships, tools and programs that enable New York State companies to bring tomorrow’s medical solutions to the healthcare marketplace.

MedTech provides a single voice for the Bio/Med industry and also encompasses the entire ecosystem – from innovators to suppliers and academic research to service providers – providing a vehicle for collaboration and the sharing of best practices.

 

JU: What’s your vision for the evolution of this ecosystem, and how is it relevant in today’s changing economic climate?

JC: This couldn’t be more relevant than in today’s dynamic industry landscape. In today’s ever-evolving healthcare marketplace, identifying untapped potential is essential for success.

Partnerships emerge through investments, consolidation and public-private collaborations, bringing together payers, providers and patients to improve care and reduce costs.

At the heart of this convergence is creativity, building momentum for growth. Through purposeful collisions – industry and academia; entrepreneurs and business leaders; domestic and abroad – convergence drives progress through the development of new technology, product enhancements and radical innovation.

MedTech will be highlighting this and more at our annual conference, MEDTECH 2015 “Convergence: Building Momentum for Growth” on October 14-15 in Buffalo, NY.

 

MEDTECH 2014

 

JU: We’re certainly looking forward to some great discussion, and maybe even a little debate, at the conference!  Also to meeting new people from other MedTech member companies. What is it about New York that attracts medical and biotech businesses? And how are these companies leveraging the growing MedTech community to engage their customers in the area and beyond?

JC: New York is among the top tier of states in the size of its bioscience industry and the scale and reach of its bioscience research complex.

Here are some of what I think are very exciting stats:

  • State firms employ nearly 75,000 in the biosciences.
  • New York’s academic institutions conducted $3.5 billion in bioscience academic research and development in 2012.
  • State institutions, both academic and non-academic, have received $1.9 billion in funding from the National Institutes of Health in 2013 alone.
  • New York inventors were issued nearly 6,400 patents from 2009 through 2013 in bioscience-related technologies.
  • In each of these key metrics of the scale and innovative nature of the biosciences, New York is among the top 10 states. (From Battelle/BIO State Bioscience Jobs, Investments and Innovation 2014)

MedTech connects New York State’s Bio/Med industry through collaboration, education and advocacy. MEDTECH 2015 is a prime example. It draws more than 300 decision-makers from throughout the industry, and offers unmatched opportunities to strengthen and build new relationships with industry leaders and meet new partners, resources and customers. Our signature Collaboration & Growth Track also offers partnering opportunities with some of our industry’s foremost companies, this year including Air Liquide Healthcare, AMRI, Johnson & Johnson and PARC – a Xerox Company.

We’re also very excited that this year’s conference is in Buffalo, NY. The energy and momentum surrounding the Bio/Med industry in Western New York is palpable and is a testament to the capital infusion by New York State and local industry into its downtown core.

In the last five years alone, Western New York has experienced a four percent growth in Bio/Med employment, yielding $5.6 billion in total economic impact.

 

MEDTECH 2014 -2

JU: MedTech’s focus seems to be on community, scalability and tools for success in today’s competitive marketplace. With regard to tools — how are MedTech companies measuring success these days? Is the focus still on speed to market, or are you seeing a shift with new competitive pressures?

JC: With the onset of the Affordable Care Act, the business of healthcare has changed dramatically as the focus has shifted to health outcomes and behavioral changes.

For example, information-leveraging technologies including smartphone applications and sensors are empowering patients with transparent information and giving them more control over their health. Further, to help reduce costs and improve quality, companies are changing the way they innovate and identifying efficiencies in production.

Our Manufacturing Innovation” panel at MEDTECH 2015 also features industry experts, including, as you know, Creation Technologies President and CEO Bhawnesh Mathur.  This session will examine how new technologies, partnerships and initiatives in manufacturing are reducing costs and production time, while also developing custom solutions including personalized devices, prototypes and injection molding.

I’m looking forward to hearing Bhawnesh speak to new industry trends and resources that you are leveraging for your customers, as well as how Creation’s customers are innovating for their own marketplaces.

 

Creation Technologies Medical Devices

JU: MedTech talks about the vibrant community at its epicenter. Is there a success story you can share? What do you think are the indicators of a successful relationship?

JC: MedTech means different things to each of our members. Consequently, success or value for one may mean something completely different to another.

Member Bill Rader, president and CEO of Efferent Labs, Inc. participated in a MedTech Metro event in 2014, making a presentation on his development stage bio-device company focused on implantable biosensors. Someone in the audience followed up with him afterward and encouraged him to apply for the 43North Competition – the world’s largest business competition with $5 million in cash prizes.

Bill took the advice and applied. He later learned he was a semi-finalist and ultimately took home second place and $500,000 and more in cash and incentives to locate in Buffalo, NY.

Efferent Labs, Inc. is now on the fast track toward success – made possible through a MedTech connection.

 

JU: Back to the origins of MedTech and its goals – this year’s MEDTECH 2015 conference surfaces some new areas of focus like, “How to Play Nice with Others”.  What is your prediction for medical device companies in the next year?  What might be some hot topics at MEDTECH 2016?

JC: The theme for MEDTECH 2015 is focused on convergence and how new industry trends are leading to unique opportunities for partnering and investment. To remain competitive, industry stakeholders including payers, providers and patients, are coming together in novel ways.

Consolidation has become the norm as bigger appears to be better in the post Affordable Care Act world. Traditional consumer giants like Google and Samsung with either technical expertise or market share are also leveraging strategic partners to enter the Bio/Med industry. This paradigm shift is heating up competition and creating unique opportunities for collaboration.

This year’s “How to Play Nice with Others” panel discusses emerging channels for consumables and the repurposing of technology to appeal to varying populations, as well as the challenges that arise from new players entering the healthcare market.

And it’s unlikely that these trends are behind us.

Provider systems around the country are following payers’ moves, also entering into new relationships at a feverish pace. Just this year, Barnabas Health and Robert Wood Johnson Health System combined their 11 hospitals to form New Jersey’s largest health system and Prime Healthcare Services’ takeover of six-hospital Daughters of Charity Health System. And private practice acquisitions are happening daily in the health delivery space.

MEDTECH 2016 will continue take on these trends and more when we return to Albany, NY next fall.

 

If you haven’t already registered, it’s not too late! I believe there are still a few tickets left for MEDTECH 2015, which you can get by contacting events@medtech.org.

I’m looking forward to hearing all about MEDTECH 2015 from Jessica and the folks at MedTech, as well as from Bhawnesh and the other Creation folks who are attending.

If you missed it, Bhawnesh shared a sneak peek here of his thoughts around the complex subject of Manufacturing Innovation in medical devices.

And maybe Connie Griffin will publish a recap to go along with her lead-up post to the conference that presents an interesting perspective on the impact manufacturing and the medical community are having on revitalization in New York State.

 

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