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 flagship industry.
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.