European 'incubator' to accelerate medical device development
15 December 2009
The European Medical Device Accelerator (MDA) was officially
launched in Switzerland last month.
Based at the Science Park next to Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de
Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland, MDA aims to accelerate the development
of revolutionary medical device technology ideas in Europe and to create
entities ready for future financing or licensing.
Compared to the USA where several incubators have emerged to identify
and validate early-stage opportunities within the medical device
industry, no same calibre incubators exist to date in Europe.
With the launch of MDA, European inventors now have the opportunity
to transform their medical technology ideas into reality, through the
investment of engineering, legal, and commercial expertise.
Says Tim Lenihan, CEO of MDA, "For centuries, Europe has played a
leading role in inventing and developing innovative medical
technologies. Many inventions, such as the CT Scanner and balloon
angioplasty originated in Europe. MDA hopes to help reignite the pathway
for European medical technology breakthroughs."
Backed by corporate and venture capital from Europe, MDA aims to
leverage the competencies of its partners to bring ideas that pass the
initial screening process, through proof of concept, to new company
incorporation and preparation for external funding.
MDA is financially backed by its founders, Paris-based independent
Venture Capital firm Sofinnova Partners and global medical device leader
Medtronic Inc. and is supported by its partners, European-based contract
medical device manufacturing specialists.
"We at Sofinnova Partners see every year hundreds of very innovative
projects that are at the concept stage, often coming directly from
European physicians,” explains Antoine Papiernik, Managing Partner at
Sofinnova Partners. “By working with MDA early on, these will greatly
increase their chance of turning into real products and companies.”
MDA is located at the Science Park on the EPFL campus, which is home
to about 100 high-tech start-ups and enterprises, and numerous
investors. The Park's programs and services serve to stimulate the links
between EPFL research labs and business.
For more information about MDA, please see