Medical technology is a key growth market. The world market currently amounts to around EUR 200 billion and is expected to grow at a rate of about seven per cent per year. Bavaria's medical technology companies benefit greatly from this. Around 70 per cent of their products are exported to a wide range of countries abroad. Those which remain here find a potential customer base of around 400 approved acute hospitals, 285 prevention and rehabilitation institutions and 47 award-winning spas and health resorts in Bavaria alone.
Medical technology in Germany brings products to market-readiness quickly. The companies in the sector achieve over fifty per cent of their sales with products which are less than three years old. The Medical Valley in Erlangen and the Forum MedTech Pharma e.V., the largest network for the health sector in Germany and Europe, also contribute to this in Bavaria. Bavaria offers ideal production conditions for medical technology, thanks to active sectors whose own production and research are also useful for medical technology, among other factors. These sectors include mechatronics, information and communications technology and the field of photonics and optics.
Many universities in Bavaria demonstrate a high level of expertise in medical technology. Examples include Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg with its Centre for Medical Physics and Technology, Universitätsklinik Regensburg with its International Center for Telemedicine and the Technische Universität München with its Chair for Medical Technology. Outside the universities, Bavaria is also home to organisations such as the Innovation Centre for Therapeutic Medical Technology (ITEM GmbH) in Garching, which make valuable contributions to research in medical technology.
Important contributions to research in medical technology and to turning research results into market-ready products are made by a large number of research groups in Bavaria, in which scientists from various faculties work together with partners from business on research and development topics, as well as by the companies themselves. There are about 180 companies conducting research in medical technology in the Medical Valley in the Erlangen region alone. Bavarian research institutions also ensure excellent sector-relevant training. This provides Bavaria's labour market with a rich pool of specialist staff whose high level of expertise can be put to good use in medical technology.
One of the most important networks in medical technology in Bavaria is Medical Valley EMN, whose members today aim only "to develop products, services and solutions which significantly increase effectiveness and efficiency in prevention, diagnosis, therapy and rehabilitation". The largest network in the health sector in Germany and Europe has also established itself in Bavaria: Forum MedTech Pharma e.V. It now has over 600 members from throughout Germany and 12 other countries.
Many other networks in Bavaria ensure that new companies and start-ups in medical technology have the ideal chance of success from the word go. The university cooperation network BioMedTec Franken, for example, supports the foundation and relocation of innovative companies in the sector in Franconia. There is also a series of innovation centres and business incubators with special expertise, benefiting specifically companies in medical technology. They include the Innovation Centre for Medical Technology and Pharmaceuticals (IZMP) in Erlangen. This integrates new companies quickly into existing networks, where many contacts can unlock new prospects for them.