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Erlangen & Nuremberg: the center of gravity for med tech
Tired of yet another founded-in-the-garage, rags-to-riches start up story? Then you’ll be relieved to learn that this start-up wasn’t born out of a garage but out of a pub: Corscience’s founders scribbled an offer letter on a beer mat. The unorthodox sales pitch gained them their first commercial development contract for an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) on behalf of Hamburg based Weinmann Emergency, a leading manufacturer of medical device solutions for emergency services.
The pub where this all important beer mat letter was written was one of many bars and pubs in Karlsruhe, where the authors spend their university time. But when they incorporated their company, the Corscience founders chose the Medical Valley Erlangen Nuremberg over home comforts in Karlsruhe.
The region of Erlangen and Nuremberg is home to many med tech companies, of which the largest and best known is certainlySiemens Healthineers. The first predecessors of the current Siemens Healthineers company was established by E.M. Reiniger in Erlangen back in 1877. The humble beginnings of this one-man shop have since developed into a global top 10 medical tech company headquarter. Currently, the city of Erlangen has been taken over by construction companies as Siemens is developing a new, carbon neutral healthcare campus, investing around € 500 mio.
The former Siemens Erlangen headquarter building, nicknamed “raspberry palace” due to its reddish-pink coloured façade, has just been handed over to the city of Erlangen. The iconic, listed building will not remain empty for long: it will become part of the FAU, the Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg.
The university with its approximately 40 thousand students is a key reason for many med tech and life science companies such as Corscience to make Erlangen, Nuremberg and the area surrounding it their headquarter. The university has a strong research focus in natural and medical sciences, is dedicated to the real life usability of the research results and encourages spin off company creation. Amongst many similar accolades, the university was ranked Germany’s most innovative university in a2018 Reuters ranking, with a strong 5th place across Europe.
The academic infrastructure of the FAU,Nuremberg Tech,Paracacelsus medical private university and other institutions is surrounded by more than 65 hospitals plus more than 20 non-university research institutions. The university hospital, aka Universitätsklinikum Erlangen with its 24 clinics and 7 institutes is home to research infrastructure which can be used by companies within the Medical Valley ecosystem. The Translational Research Centre with its technical equipment and Biobanks is one example, the METEAN testing and data collection centre another one. Both institutes are linked to the hospital and, in the case of METEAN, to the Fraunhofer IIS institute. The Fraunhofer IIS’s justified claim to fame is the invention of themp3 audio codec. The mp3 development started, based on FAU research results, in 1987, and the kick off for commercialization was the ISO MPEG standardization of “layer 3” (hence the name “mp3”) in 1992.
The single point of access to the impressive medical technology ecosystem that is the Erlangen Nuremberg Medical Valley is theMedical Valley Center: both the Erlangen and the nearby Forchheim facilities provide office space, laboratories, training events and so much more.
A key benefit of membership with the Medical Valley Center is their ability to tap into an impressive network: hospitals, scientists, companies, research institutes…. No matter whom you’d like to network with, the experts from the Medical Valley EMN will support you in your endeavour.
Such a first class access to knowledge, resources and training around medical technology is an important advantage in the run up to 2020, when the first batch of new EU Regulations on medical devices will come into force.