European 'incubator' to accelerate medical device development launched

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 


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