The HealthTech Cluster in Catalonia signs a collaboration agreement with MassMEDIC in Boston
- The agreement was signed during the 2nd Strategic Meeting of the HT Cluster that was held in Barcelona last 20 and 21 of October
- The HealthTech Cluster belongs to the Catalonia Cluster Program launched by the agency ACCIO of the Government of Catalonia, which includes 30 other Catalan clusters.
- The Massachusetts Medical Device Industry Council (MassMEDIC) the second biggest medical devices cluster in the USA
The history of MassMEDIC shows some parallels with the short history of the HealthTech Cluster, both resulted from a cluster initiative led by the government and focus on the medtech industry as the core business, besides being born in a region with best in class medical research, training and practice. These common features made two-day tour to know more about the HealthTech Cluster more familiar to MassMEDIC’s president, Mr. Tom Sommer. On the first day, the visit started with the Health Ministry to learn more about its ITC policy to empower patients through the access to their personal health records and a newly launched HealhApp Portal that will feedback information to integrated health information system in Catalonia; the Business Ministry to learn about the cluster development policy that started in the 90s generating a rich ecosystem of business clusters, many of with have been promoted by the government, such as the HealthTech Cluster, and the proactive cross-cluster approach in the last years. On the second day, Mr. Sommer had the opportunity to visit top high tech hospitals such as the Hospital Clinic, medical simulation organizations like the 4D Health Innovation Centre, the first simulated hospital in Europe, and the pioneering companies in exponentials technologies such as 3D Printing and Virtual Reality. On the third day, the agreement was signed straight after Mr. Sommer’s conference about the lessons learned of MassMEDIC since its inception in 1996, during the 2nd Strategic meeting of the HealthTech Cluster. The terms of the agreement focus on sharing best practices, information and investment opportunities, digital and connected health and connecting both value chains to improve cluster competitiveness. In the next few months both cluster will work on an action plan to launch the collaboration. The overall aim of the agreement is aligned with the vision of the Catalonia Cluster Program of promoting world-class clusters, which follows the recommendation of the European Commission, on building stable international alliances with other strategic partners worldwide. Finally, the Catalan clustering model together with MassMEDIC were two success stories highlighted by professor Michael Porter of Harvard in his book ‘On Competition’ published in 1998.