German medtech sector driving innovation and exports
30 April 2012
Nearly 50% of German medical technology companies are
expecting increased profits this year, according to a new study by the
German Medical Technology Association (BVMed).
Despite slower economic growth across Europe, Germany will remain
its most successful market for medical technologies, say Germany
Trade & Invest experts.
“An excellent R&D framework, rapid market approval of new
products, and strong growth potential make Germany an attractive
location for foreign companies,” said Dr Sandra Buetow, medical
technology expert at Germany Trade & Invest.
Medtech companies invest an average of 9% of total revenue on
R&D. Nearly one third of the industry’s turnover comes from products
developed in the past three years, signalling that demand for new
technologies coming from Germany is high. Significant R&D ventures
in small and medium-sized German medtech enterprises result in a
remarkably quick entry of innovative products into the marketplace.
“Companies based here benefit from the reputation of the 'Made in
Germany' label, a mark of quality that helps them sell 65% of their
products abroad,” continued Buetow.
Today two-thirds of all revenues are generated by exports, an
increase from 40% in the 1990s. Germany’s healthcare sector has the
potential to overtake the automotive industry as the country’s
Germany’s global share of medical technology exports is 14.6%,
trailing only the USA. Germany is well ahead of Japan, in third with
a share of 5.5%. “Innovative companies come to Germany to serve the
entire European market from a central location,” continued Flemming.
At €278.3 billion in annual revenues, Germany’s healthcare
industry already represents 11.6% of German GDP, a larger share than
the automotive industry. German medical devices generated revenue of
€20 billion in 2010 with year-over-year growth of 10%. Exports made
up the largest share of revenue, growing 12% to €12.8 billion.
Germany Trade & Invest also announced earlier this month that
Germany is investing €410 million in optical technologies research
between 2012 and 2015. The Federal Ministry of Education and
Research recently extended its Photonics Research Germany program.
Efforts to commercialize new technologies are also taking off. Just
last month, Heliatek opened a new factory for the production of
organic thin-film solar panels.