MAGIA - Foreign expert training program

Submitted by Alberto Baldi on 23 July 2019

The team of MAGIA – MedTech Alliance for Global InternAtionalisation is a conglomerate of four leading Life Science clusters in Europe, namely bioPmed from Italy, BioWin from Belgium, Life Science Nord from Germany and Lyonbiopole from France.

Besides being leading Life Sciences Clusters in Europe, there is a number of shared characteristics among these four clusters that prompted them to join forces. All of them consist to a large extend of SMEs with innovative and forward-thinking products that are worth being introduced to international markets. At the same time, these SMEs across all four clusters face the same challenges, specifically dealing with a complex regulatory environment, a lack of experience and contacts in the desired target markets, as well as constraints in terms of human resources and limited funds.

Naturally, bringing together SMEs across four European regions creates a heterogeneous group of different specialities and individual challenges and interests that are in addition to the more common limitations that are named above. Thus, a major task at the very beginning of the project was to produce a mapping, reflecting clusters of interest within this meta-cluster and to identify two target markets that are appealing to a large number of SMEs. A questionnaire revealed that the most appealing target markets for small and medium-sized MedTech companies are China and the USA. Additionally, four main indications could be identified to gather the interest of many participants, which were Orthopaedics, Oncology, Cardiovascular, and Dentistry. These findings are reflected in the educational material. At the same time, the MAGIA team emphasised that the outcomes of the project should provide a benefit for companies within and outside of these indications.

The overall project goal of MAGIA is to give tailwind to the SMEs, providing not only market intelligence and resources to keep up to speed with current market trends, but also insights from trusted market experts in form of video material and interactions, such as personal discussions and webinar sessions, to get a first orientation in the new and complex market environments of the US-American and Chinese markets. To truly create a ‘soft-landing-zone’ and to support SMEs in gaining traction in the new target markets, the MAGIA team has travelled to both, the US and China, to establish contact networks that can help the companies along their first steps and act as a contact facilitator.

Working on a common internationalisation strategy also creates a strong synergy within the regions. Most companies have had a chance to gain international experience to some extent. In some cases, it might be in either of the target markets, in others it might be outside of these regions. Both create specific lessons-learned and best-practices that are worth being shared with other like-minded SMEs. This type of peer-learning will be achieved through regional focus groups.

In the attached document, we will elaborate further the specific sub-sectors of the foreign expert training program.

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