Medical device titans Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) and Boston Scientific (NYSE:BSX) cut the ribbon on new facilities overseas this week, looking to develop new technologies that cater to markets in Ireland and China.
Minnesota-based Medtronic announced a new $10-million-dollar "brainstorming" center at its Galway, Ireland, campus, where the company plans to bring together physicians and engineers to develop new devices that will "improve clinical outcomes, provide economic value and increase access to quality healthcare for patients around the world."
The so-called Customer Innovation Center was built with the help of Ireland’s Industrial Development Agency, which kicked in grant money, the amount of which was not disclosed. The facility features global communications technologies, 3D printing systems and education and training facilities, according to a company statement.
Medtronic hopes to build on its ongoing success in Galway, where the company and other medical device giants, including Boston Scientific, have invested some serious capital. Medtronic’s Irish subsidiary Medtronic Vascular Galway Ltd. in 2010 posted more than $1 billion in sales and $269 in profit, according to a local report.
Boston Scientific also has deep roots in Ireland, where the company in 2009 announced a $128 million R&D lab and invested $30 million into another R&D center. The company’s reach may have exceeded its grasp, however, and by 2010 the device maker began announcing layoffs. Boston Scientific announced in February 2010 that it would cut about 175 jobs from its Galway operations, but in April 2011 redoubled its efforts with another $37 million investment in the Emerald Isle. Fortuned turned again in 2012, with around 150 jobs cut in April and another 50 in August.
Meanwhile in China, Boston Scientific opened doors on a Shanghai branch of its Institute for Advancing Science, in addition to a new Innovation Center. The company plans to offer professional training programs and develop "tailor-made innovation," according to a press release.
"China is key to our ongoing global expansion, and we believe that initiatives such as the IAS and Innovation Center will help us to continue adapting to the unique demands of the China market," Boston Scientific president & CEO Michael Mahoney said in prepared remarks.