With almost 350.000 employees - that is 16,9 percent of all employees in Saxony - the health sector is one of the largest economic sectors in the state. Economics and Labor Minister Martin Dulig dedicates his first theme day of the year to this strategically important growth driver. The program highlights their innovation and future potential for the high-tech location of Saxony. Dulig will visit five companies and research institutions in Dresden, Leipzig and Markkleeberg that are developing advanced medical technology using 3D processes, artificial intelligence, robotics and 6G.
In 2020, the Saxon healthcare industry achieved gross value added of around 13,9 billion euros. The industry thus generated 12,1 percent of the total gross value added in Bavaria. Between 2011 and 2020, their average growth was 3,7 percent. In the economy as a whole it was 2,9 percent.
In the "Life Sciences" cluster alone, which links biotechnology, medical technology and pharmacy, around 15.500 employees generate annual sales of around 1,9 billion euros. Among these, medical technology (10.400 employees, turnover of 1,2 billion euros) occupies a prominent position.
"The dynamism, the innovative power and the high level of employment in the healthcare industry are of great importance for Saxony's economic development," emphasizes Minister Dulig. »Digitization is driving innovation. In this way, even faster, more precise medical technology reaches the domestic and international market from Saxony. My conversations with exhibitors and potential customers at the Arab Health trade fair in Dubai recently showed: Saxony is excellently positioned in the life sciences, our export opportunities are great,” says Martin Dulig.
As an up-and-coming biotechnology and life sciences location, Saxony is attractive for science, research and companies. Dulig continues: »The Saxon biotechnology offensive launched at the turn of the millennium has made the Free State one of the most dynamic regions in Germany in this area. To date, Saxony has invested around one billion euros in the development of the life sciences cluster.«
The approximately 300 biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical technology companies cooperate successfully with more than 30 research institutes. The focus is on the areas of regenerative medicine/therapy/diagnostics, molecular bioengineering, bioinformatics, nanobiotechnology and pharmacogenetics. Just recently, 15 Saxon companies, including two of the companies selected for today's theme day, presented their latest technologies and innovations at the »Arab Health« in Dubai, one of the world's largest and most important medical technology trade fairs.
The ministerial tour starts in the Schubert and Braun Prothesenwerk GmbH in Dresden. She uses digital technologies to produce individually fitted prostheses that look deceptively real. The Dresden specialists were the first in the world to be able to process special medical silicones at high temperatures in a 3D printer. This enables them to produce high-quality prostheses without major material losses using the additive-generative process, i.e. layer by layer. The artificial limbs created in this way are up to 40 percent lighter than conventional prostheses. In 2023, the company presented itself at the Arab Health trade fair in Dubai.
The people of Leipzig Sonovum GmbH, the second station of the day and also an exhibitor at Arab Health 2023, develops medical devices with a high proportion of artificial intelligence. They are used for non-invasive condition monitoring of the brain, especially in the acute area. "Non-invasive" means examinations and treatments that do not damage tissue and do not insert the necessary instruments into the body. The engineers have modified the ultrasound technology so that brain tissue can be examined “mobile” in real time and without intervention. The company was also an exhibitor at Arab Health.
Martin Dulig then visits the in Leipzig Tediro GmbH. She is developing a mobile robotics platform for various applications in healthcare, especially in therapy, diagnostics and rehabilitation. »Tediro« – the autonomous therapy and diagnostics robot – supports patients with gait training on forearm supports after operations on the lower extremities. The innovative company was awarded third prize in the 2021 Saxon Founders' Prize, for which applications can be submitted until March 8 this year.
In Leipzig Fraunhofer Institute for Cell Therapy and Immunology IZI the minister finds out about quality tests and the manufacture of clinical investigational medicinal products in accordance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) guidelines. The institute is represented in the consortium of the future cluster »SaxoCell«. In the network founded by the TU Dresden, the University of Leipzig and the Fraunhofer IZI, novel, personalized gene and cell therapeutics are being developed. SaxoCell wants to bring together the areas of gene and cell therapy, artificial intelligence and automation from science and industry and establish a unique value chain in Saxony.
In the afternoon, Minister of State Martin Dulig and Minister of State for Social Affairs and Cohesion Petra Köpping will attend the opening event of the 6G Health Institute (6GHI) in Markkleeberg. The 6GHI develops new innovative medical products using 6G wireless technology. A high-performance cluster is to be created in the Leipzig area, which will enable other relevant industrial companies and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to settle here.
»The development of networked medical products, taking into account the latest mobile phone technologies, offers enormous innovation and growth potential for the Leipzig area and for Saxony as a whole. As Europe's leading ICT cluster, the Free State has the necessary prerequisites to be able to assert itself in global competition in this future market of digital medical technology," says Dulig.
At the opening, a memorandum of understanding is signed between the 6GHI and Telefónica Germany. This joint initiative is a step towards collaboration to accelerate the advancement of network technologies at the intersection of healthcare and medical technology to meet the global need for innovative solutions in this segment. The federal government is supporting the 6G Health Institute with around six million euros as part of the "Funding guidelines for strengthening the transformation dynamics and awakening in the mining areas and at the coal-fired power plant sites" ("STARK").
Source: Press release SMWA from February 2.3.2023, XNUMX