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STPI Helps Open up the Dutch Medical Device Market

2019/12/24

The STPI recruited six competent and ambitious medical device teams to participate in the Regional Accelerator Program Innovation & Development for Health (RAPID-Health) in Utrecht, the Netherlands. This program was jointly held by the Economics Board Utrecht, Taiwan Globalization Network, and STPI. The month-long event, from September 23 to October 20, took place at the building of Jaarbeurs Innovation Mile, the top accelerator in Utrecht. The program began with one week of intensive bootcamp and coaching, during which the teams learned about the similarities and differences between markets in Taiwan and the Netherlands. Following the training session, 2019 Taiwan Business Day was held in September 30 for Taiwanese businesses to meet with Dutch incubators. The program familiarized the participants with the local market and provided information on the resources and available connections for start-ups.

The six teams participating in the RAPID-Health

 

During the RAPID-Health, six teams met with potential clients, European venture capitals, and substantial medical device research and development centers. Moreover, they got into contact with the Dutch market, including local elder care facilities and major regional hospital, University Medical Center Utrecht. The training catered to the teams’ individual needs, offering one-on-one counseling and partnering opportunities. One highlight of the training was the involvement of the Director of Domain Health Economics and the chief counselor Jelle Van de Weijde, who introduced the teams to senior executives of international medical device companies such as Johnson & Johnson and Philips. Furthermore, Nawal Bahia El Idrissi Nawal, an adviser of Catalyze, also provided information about subsidy applications, solutions to social problems in Utrecht, and start-up resources in Europe. The teams commented that the RAPID-Health was highly rewarding.

The six medical device teams met with local businesses

 

A week before the teams headed back to Taiwan, good news came one after another. The team which developed an innovative surgical suture machine had successfully completed experiments on pigs. The team that focused on developing optic nerve scanning technologies had had discussions with heavyweight professors for further research cooperation. The team which combined vital signs monitoring with IoT technologies had sold eight sets of their products and had collaborated with two medical institutions. The other teams also gained fruitful results in connecting with the Dutch market and broadening their horizons.

 

Connecting directly with the higher management of the medical industry and research institutions and establishing networks characterizes the culture of the start-ups in the Netherlands. The common practice of horizontal division of labor effectively facilitate communication and create a friendly environment for start-ups.

 

During this visit, we not only helped the six teams expand their markets but also followed up the development of previously trained start-ups. Assessing the effects and benefits of cooperation can provide a valuable guide for future innovations and collaborations.

The team demoed their products