The MEDICAL FORGE Leipzig, an accelerator for young innovative medical technology companies on the BioCity Campus Leipzig, is forging the medical technology of tomorrow. The aim of the medical technology accelerator is to make it easier for start-ups and SMEs to take the last step towards a successful entry into the German healthcare market and, in particular, to attract international companies to Saxony.
The accelerator focuses on industry-specific topics such as approval, marketing, reimbursement and clinical evidence. The startups benefit from state-of-the-art laboratory workplaces, coaching and mentoring from experienced industry experts and, in particular, easier access to clinics and thus users of their technologies. MEDICAL FORGE has already won the Leipzig University Hospital and the Sankt Georg Clinic as partners, who have a great interest in innovative solutions for their patients and at the same time support the start-ups as development partners with clinical expertise.
The six startups selected in the first round cover a wide range of medical indications and their solutions are based on very different technologies - from a voice-controlled patient communication tool for hospitals (CallPima), to innovative genetic tests for cancer screening (Antegenes), to AI-based diagnostic support for rare diseases (Saventic), tissue products for regenerative medicine (Han Biomedical), a high-precision diagnostic platform for infectious diseases (Aviana Saxony), through to 3D-printed medical products (Next3D).
Over the next four years, up to 30 startups and SMEs will be able to participate in the accelerator program through funding from the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action (BMWK) as part of the STARK structural change funding. In the long term, MEDICAL FORGE is to be financed via partnership models. With HP, B.Braun, the Leipzig University Hospital, the Sankt Georg Clinic, the LGH – Leipziger Gewerbehöfe and the Leipzig Office for Economic Development, strong partners have already been won for the accelerator.
Martin Dulig, Saxon Minister of State for Economic Affairs, Labor and Transport, specifically addresses the importance of MEDICAL FORGE for regional structural change: “Biotechnology is one of the megatrends of the 21st century. Saxony adjusted to this in good time and is now a very dynamic life sciences region. In over 300 companies and institutions, 15.500 employees generate annual sales of 1,9 billion euros. Especially here in open-minded, cosmopolitan Leipzig, start-ups and innovative companies find an agile environment. As a 'forge' for medical technology, MEDICAL FORGE will further strengthen and network the Saxon biotechnology sector. Saxon medical products will come onto the German healthcare market even faster in the future. At the same time, MEDICAL FORGE supports the structural change in the Central German mining area and is thus helping to shape the successful future of the Free State.”
Clemens Schülke, Acting Head of the Economics, Labor and Digital Affairs Department, emphasizes: “The opening of MEDICAL FORGE is a milestone for the life sciences industry in Leipzig. Young medical technology companies are able to work with strong partners such as the Leipzig University Clinic and the Sankt Georg Clinic, making it easier for them to enter the healthcare market in Leipzig. An important step - innovative solutions improve the care of patients in our hospitals. The settlement of MEDICAL FORGE on the BioCity Campus Leipzig is an enrichment for both sides. The stakeholders are well networked and everyone benefits from the mutual exchange - excellent conditions for some participants to settle here."
André Hofmann, Managing Director of biosaxony Management GmbH, which initiated and runs MEDICAL FORGE, adds: “This accelerator program accompanies the participants on the difficult last mile into the healthcare market. A total of 30 companies can go through this program in the next 4 years. We are already looking for participants for the coming year at international conferences. We see again that both the offer itself and the Leipzig location are very well received. The spark of enthusiasm easily jumps over here.”
About MEDICAL FORGE
MEDICAL FORGE Leipzig by biosaxony supports startups and innovative SMEs in bringing their medical devices to the German healthcare market faster. The 12-month accelerator program focuses on industry-specific topics such as approval, marketing, reimbursement and clinical evidence. Through individual coaching and mentoring as well as a market-specific training offer, selected start-ups are supported in further developing their software solutions and devices into finished medical products and implementing them in the clinical environment. Together with partners from industry, health insurance companies and clinics, the founders will continue to forge their products and services in order to bring them to market maturity.
The program is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Action based on a decision by the German Bundestag. As a result, the participants receive a 90 percent subsidy for the participation fees.
biosaxony is the all-Saxon association for biotechnology, medical technology and healthcare. Its members include companies, scientific institutions as well as stakeholders and suppliers in the industry. The network is supplemented by representatives of the user side, for example clinics and health insurance companies. The network bundles the strengths of all member companies and represents their interests in politics and the public.
Tasks of the cluster include the initiation of projects between business and science, the provision of services and know-how as well as the presentation of regional competencies in order to support the value-adding expansion of these cross-sectional technologies and to strengthen the economic region of Saxony. In addition, the promotion of young innovative companies is one of the main concerns of the network.
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