The expanded Engineering and Innovation Center makes the country a key hub for the company’s global R&D efforts
Healthcare is changing faster in India than almost anywhere else in the world. And Medtronic is moving boldly to stay in stride, with a massive, multi-million-dollar research and development (R&D) expansion in the country.
“The future before us is exciting,” said Medtronic Chairman and CEO Geoff Martha. “We’re at the nexus of two very important and fast-growing industries — healthcare and technology. As these two industries continue to converge, there is no organization better positioned to lead in this space than Medtronic.”
Martha and several other Medtronic leaders recently joined Indian government officials and more than 600 company employees for a virtual inauguration of the newly relaunched Medtronic Engineering and Innovation Center (MEIC) in Hyderabad. In 2020, Medtronic invested $160 million to expand the MEIC, which first opened in 2011. The move makes MEIC the largest Medtronic R&D center outside of the United States.
The scientists and engineers who work there will support 15 Medtronic operating units around the world. They’ll focus on cutting-edge software development and testing, mobile apps for medical use, and engineering research. Their work will surround some of the most exciting technologies in healthcare, including robotic-assisted surgery, surgical navigation and imaging, surgical devices, implantables, ventilators and many others.
“There has always been a need for expanding access to healthcare and lowering costs, but the pandemic has significantly intensified those needs,” Martha continued. “Technology and innovation are the only ways to address these issues in a sustainable way — simultaneously reducing cost, while expanding access and improving outcomes. And our team in India, including those at MEIC, will play a critical role in innovating new solutions that will do just that.”
The sparkling new MEIC now covers 150,000 square feet (the size of two soccer fields). It’s a state-of-the-art, engineering R&D center with an array of sophisticated equipment and research labs.
The current team of 400+ engineers at MEIC have already been involved in work that has contributed to more than 150 patents and 400 intellectual property disclosures. With the expansion, the number of MEIC employees could more than double in the next five years.
“Medtronic has operated in India commercially for over 40 years,” noted Mani Prakash, vice president of enterprise research and development at Medtronic. “This R&D expansion deepens that footprint in India and recognizes the technical talent and capabilities in the region. It’s a key step in our journey as we address needs of patients in India and around the world through innovation.”
Key dignitaries from the Indian state of Telangana attended the event. Support for the expansion from the Government of Telangana was “unwavering,” Martha said, and the expansion was aligned closely with two government initiatives: “Make in India” and “Skill India.”
“There are exciting opportunities in the medical technology sector in India to create a fulcrum of convergence to improve human welfare,” said S Aparna, secretary of the department of pharmaceuticals for the government of India. “This convergence brings together engineering, digital technology, digital systems, artificial intelligence, and medicine. I hope this center will create the kind of energy that can provide the necessary solutions that make high quality healthcare more affordable, accessible, and sustainable,” she said.
In addition to work involving robotics and surgical navigation, the MEIC will also provide all Medtronic operating units with expertise in mechanical design and analysis, hardware engineering, and quality and compliance. The expanded MEIC makes India a key hub for Medtronic’s global R&D effort.
“We’re optimistic about the business potential and R&D talent of India,” Martha said. “Ultimately, we want our products and therapies to be available in more places and for more patients around the world, especially India. I’m excited and energized by this expansion and what it means for the future of global healthcare and medical technology.”
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