Medtronic opens doors on innovation center in Singapore

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Medtech titan Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) opened the doors on a new Center of Excellence in Singapore, where new business models will be designed, tested and scaled for Asian markets.

Based in Medtronic’s existing Singapore facility, the new center will also develop commercial models that may eventually extend to various markets around the globe after passing muster in a single country.

"Emerging markets in Asia provide tremendous growth opportunities for companies, but also present new challenges," Singapore Economic Development Board biomedical sciences director Kevin Lai said in prepared remarks on behalf of the company. "This Global Center of Excellence for Business Model Innovation will enable Medtronic to address market-specific needs and barriers more effectively through Singapore."

Medical device companies’ interest in doing business in Singapore has been on the rise, particularly after the country recently eased regulatory requirements. Medtronic has several other facilities in Singapore, including its Asia Pacific headquarters, and local manufacturing and sales operations, the Minneapolis-based firm said.

"We are delighted to partner with EDB to base the global Business Model Innovation CoE in Singapore," Medtronic international strategy, business development and business model innovation VP Sundeep Lal said in prepared remarks. "The center is well positioned to leverage Singapore’s ecosystem and geographic proximity to developing Asia to address healthcare delivery challenges for this region and beyond."

The new center is Medtronic’s 2nd international opening this month, following a ribbon-cutting at a office in CEO Omar Ishrak’s birth-place of Bangladesh. International expansion has been part of the hallmark of Ishrak’s reign as the CEO of Medtronic, the world’s largest pure-play medical device maker. Ishrak has previously called emerging markets "the most important ones" to Medtronic, and has said that emerging markets, although sometimes difficult to breach, may be safer bets than investing further in the U.S.

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