The MDevNet initiative aims to contribute significantly to the effectiveness of the technology-based medical devices industry in Portugal, by bringing together a collaborative network to promote best practices and a learning environment for companies, R&D organizations and other stakeholders involved in the technology transfer processes in this industry. The project will further promote a collaborative approach to knowledge transfer.
A significant portion of Fraunhofer Portugal AICOS’ (FhP-AICOS) recent R&D work has been focused on the area of health and wellbeing, such as medical and wellness devices, data science for healthcare and wellbeing, and the technologies underlying these. Motivated by current societal and economic challenges, such as population ageing and related health issues, FhP-AICOS has developed a number of key technologies in the areas of fall detection, physical activity monitoring, wellbeing management and management of chronic diseases. These are critical assets that hold significant potential to enable further cooperation with industry players and create economic value.
At FhP-AICOS, we believe that a key objective of R&D activities should be that resulting outcomes lead to applied technology and products, taking a step further beyond the mere dissemination of new scientific knowledge. However, bridging the gap between R&D results and the market, particularly in the technology based medical devices market, proves to be a challenge – a difficulty shared by most national R&D organizations.
To help bridge this gap, FhP-AICOS will be leading a new knowledge transfer project, aiming not only to strengthen FhP-AICOS’s ability to reinforce the economic value of the developed knowledge and to create an effective technology transfer process to the industry, but also to empower others to do the same.
This initiative, by the name of MDevNet, contemplates the creation of a national network of partners, most notably companies, large and small, and R&D organizations, and also includes public authorities and consumer advocacy groups, all of which are involved in the process of technology transfer of technology-based medical devices ranging from research to commercialization.
Through several work meetings, workshops and seminars, we aim to promote interaction and transfer of knowledge, namely, to collectively identify, gather and make available information regarding the regulation and operational requirements with direct impact in the technology-based medical devices industry, as well as best practices.
MDevNet also aims to promote collaborative incremental developments, both for new design solutions and for new approaches to their usability, using existing solutions that can either individually or jointly bring a greater attractiveness to the market. This will be accompanied by the dissemination of improved R&D results, that is, pilot projects demonstrative of the new approach in technology transfer. Lastly, the results obtained throughout these activities will be universally diffused to increase the collective and intangible competitive factors that affect the industry.
For its first year, FhP-AICOS is planning several meetings and workshops in accordance with the objectives of the group. The next major event will be a workshop focused on the identification of the main obstacles and opportunities perceived for the successful valorisation of technology-based medical devices, to be held in late February 2018 in Porto.