Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) said yesterday that it launched a new incubator and accelerator in Shanghai, China looking to support early-stage medtech companies both in the region and globally.
The newly launched incubator, dubbed the Medtronic MedTech Innovation Accelerator, resides in the Pujiang International Science and TechnologyCity in Shanghai’s Minhang District, the Fridley, Minn.-based company said.
“For nearly 70 years, Medtronic has been focusing on developing transformative medical technologies that improve lives. We promote meaningful innovation by continually investing in internal R&D, as well as expanding external partnerships. China represents a tremendous opportunity, given its significant market size, abundance of unmet clinical needs, and active entrepreneurship landscape. Establishment of the Medtronic MedTech Innovation Accelerator forms another bold step to continue to advance innovation through collaboration,” CEO Omar Ishrak said in a press release.
Medtronic said that it hopes the new incubator will contribute to Shanghai’s goal of becoming a science and technology innovation hub, adding that the company has received an endorsement from the Minhang District government of Shanghai.
“Shanghai’s plan to become a science and technology innovation hub is entering an advanced stage. As a key component in this plan, Minhang District is striving to improve technology commercialization capacity in its jurisdiction. The Medtronic MedTech Innovation Accelerator fits well into our plan. In the future, we will help further connect industry players, big or small, local universities, and research institutions to foster more medical innovation through collaboration and ecosystem building,” Minhang District deputy district governor Wu Bin said in a prepared statement.
The company said that it also received support from one of the city’s primary state-owned investment groups, Lingang Economic Development Group. The Lingang Group promised to provide subsidies and policy incentives for the incubator’s portfolio companies and other resources.
“Lingang Group is committed to building an industrial cluster in Shanghai that is focused on biotechnology. The Medtronic MedTech Innovation Accelerator will help us drive toward this goal by filling the gap in the existing MedTech innovation ecosystem,” Shanghai Lingang Economic Development Group VP Xu Bin said in a prepared release.
Medtronic said it has already signed up a number of startups from both in and outside of China for its initial roster, and that moving forward it will prioritize supporting early-stage innovations focused on applied artificial intelligence, surgical robotics and neuromodulation.
Companies in the incubator will have access to advanced lab equipment supplied by Medtronic, as well as expert advice from Medtronic China R&D staff, with possible equity investments from its Medtronic China Ventures group possible, the company said.
“The Medtronic MedTech Innovation Accelerator will promote closer partnerships between the company and a new generation of MedTech innovators and entrepreneurs to better advance our enduring mission to alleviate pain, restore health and extend life in China. Together, we are better positioned to upgrade China’s MedTech industry, help transform the domestic healthcare system with technology breakthroughs, and drive further toward the realization of the ‘Healthy China’ vision set out by the central government,” Medtronic Greater China prez Alex Gu said in prepared remarks.
Last week, the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security released a medical advisory warning of exploits within a number of Medtronic implanted cardiac devices and associated equipment that could allow an attacker to affect the functionality of the devices or intercept transmitted sensitive data.