New York State of Mind: Lessons Learned from a Thriving Health Care Region

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Global competition in the medical device industry is fierce and if your company is not constantly innovating and evolving, you are likely being left behind.

For medical device companies in the New York region, staying stagnant is not an option. This tight-knit community plans on being assertive in creating medical devices that will improve lives across the world.

In order to achieve this vision, the state of New York invested heavily (over $80 billion) in the local medical industry, specifically in three main areas:

  • Academic institute bioscience R&D – $3.5 billion
  • New York State bioscience economic output – $62.2 billion
  • Job earnings in New York State – $16.8 billion

In addition, Gov. Andrew Cuomo (NY), recently introduced a $650 million initiative to grow life science research in the state.

Health Care companies rank in the Top 10 Largest Private Sector Employers in each of New York’s labor market regions. There are nearly 75,000 residents in New York employed in the biosciences, and about 13,000 of which are in medical devices.

But investing significant capital is just part of the overall equation in creating a culture of innovation and thought leadership. There are several exciting ways the state is making themselves at the forefront of the medtech industry.

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Connecting Community

One of the driving forces behind the multi-billion dollar local biomed industry is the MedTech Association. All year round, the association plans and participates in events like MD&M East and New York Medtech Week, designed to connect and grow the local industry. MedTech consists of more than 100 pharmaceutical, biotech and medical companies, suppliers, and academic institutions (Creation is a MedTech member).

At the annual MEDTECH Conference in October, some of the brightest minds in the state’s bioscience and medical technology space congregated for three days of idea sharing and collaborating.

I attended MEDTECH 2016 and it was inspiring to see the passion and interaction between all the attendees. Just witnessing the crossover between PHDs and innovators and suppliers showed how many people from diverse backgrounds are influencing the movement.

In addition to networking opportunities, MEDTECH is always an opportunity for me to learn and gain awareness of the infrastructure and programs in place around the state. I look forward to this year’s event.

 

Building and Collaborating

If you want to be a leader in the medical technology field, you must invest in the most advanced facilities. Part of Gov. Cuomo’s plan is making 3.2 million sq. feet of innovation space and 1,100 acres of development land available tax-free for New York colleges and universities.

The University at Albany Health Sciences Campus Tour was featured at MEDTECH 2016, and really helped demonstrate the chain reaction of thought leadership. Over the past decade, the University at Albany Foundation transformed the former 95 acre Sterling Winthrop pharmaceutical complex into a thriving, collaborative biotech campus model.

The multi-purpose facility fosters an environment where life-science technologies, highly skilled work forces, and pioneering academia can co-exist and thrive. It is an encouraging example of how various stakeholders are able to share ideas.

With all of the activity and commitment to innovation, it is easy to get excited about the future of the state. New York is an example of a proactive region, willing and able to put forward the resources necessary to develop itself into a global player in medical technology.

Helping innovative OEMs succeed is what Creation Technologies is most passionate about. With several Creation business units nearby, we are always excited about collaborating with medical OEMs in the New York region and supporting them through the evolution.

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.

 

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?

 
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Innovation and Manufacturing Fuel Economic Renewal

Early in my career, a big part of my job was to coordinate company involvement in various trade shows across North America. I have worked hundreds of industry and association events over the years. As a result, most tradeshows and conferences can look the same to me and I rarely get excited to attend.

However, I am truly excited to attend the MEDTECH 2015: Convergence | Building Momentum for Growth conference in Buffalo, NY on October 14th and 15th. Here’s why.

Passion for Innovation

My excitement is both personal and professional. I’ve enjoyed my career in engineering and manufacturing over the years because I enjoy seeing how things are made. You could say that innovation truly inspires me.

For Creation Technologies and so many within the electronics manufacturing industry, we believe innovation is at the core of commercialization and manufacturing success. Without new ideas driving new technologies and new products, there would be no manufacturing sector. We’d lose a big economic driver.

Economic Opportunity

Over the last 10 years, there have been significant shifts in manufacturing in North America. I’ve travelled across many provinces and states, visiting businesses in small towns and big cities. I’ve been witness to the struggle of businesses and have seen the very real impact on local economies when a company is forced to close its doors, as well as the impact on people and their families when those jobs are lost.

The entire premise of MEDTECH 2015 is to bring together brilliant minds in healthcare, sharing new ideas and technologies that will elevate the medical industry to new levels. MedTech member companies are innovative and bringing new products to market. As a result, MedTech member companies are growing and creating new employment opportunities across the New York State and beyond, which is a good thing for everyone.

Medical Industry Driving Renewal and Growth

I am excited that Creation is a member of MedTech, and we are looking forward to great discussion at the conference in Buffalo.

I look forward to hearing the thoughts of Bhawnesh Mathur, Creation’s President and CEO, as he discusses the theme of Manufacturing Innovation as part of a panel of experts.

I also look forward to learning more about the cutting-edge technologies and products in development by our OEM customers.

Creation Technologies’ mission statement is to ‘enrich lives’ and we are proud to support MedTech and its innovative member companies. There is no doubt the ideas shared at MEDTECH 2015 will spark change and revitalize communities.

And that’s something to get excited about.

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