How Minnesota Plans to Dominate the Medtech Universe

Nancy Crotti

May 11, 2016

3 Min Read
How Minnesota Plans to Dominate the Medtech Universe

Access to a $1 billion U.S. economic development fund helps.

Nancy Crotti

A Minnesota business-booster group has launched a federally supported initiative to bolster the state's medtech industry.

The U.S. Economic Development Administration in 2015 designated the Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership as one of 12 groups nationwide to receive a chunk of $1 billion in economic development funds from 11 federal agencies. The initial 12 groups were designated in 2014.

"The federal designation affirmed our leadership in medical technology," said Michael Langley, CEO of Greater MSP. "The Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership will further distinguish our region as the global leader in this sector."

The partnership, sponsored by the Twin Cities business group Greater MSP, is apparently concerned about Minnesota's medtech leadership status. It cited a growing global market as one reason for the U.S. and Minnesota losing "the clear competitive edge in the medical device industry."

California ranks first in medtech employment with 63,782 workers, according to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Minnesota ranks second with 28,731 workers and Massachusetts comes in seventh with 14,870.The Twin Cities are arguably not as "sexy" as the other two major U.S. medical device hubs in California or Massachusetts. But what Minneapolis-St. Paul lacks in pizzazz, it makes up for in a dense cluster of medtech companies, and all of the talent and supply manufacturers that go with it.

The amount of federal money Minnesota will receive will vary by project, according to Gita Sitaramiah, a GSP spokesperson.

Before it won the federal funding boost, Minnesota relied on its own resources to compete with the medtech industries in California and Massachusetts. DEED has a matching grant program, the Minnesota Job Skills Partnership, which enables companies to engage four-year and two-year state colleges to train workers for specific needs.

The group said it will use the money to to diversify and cultivate its future workforce, broaden its in-state supplier network, and establish education and mentoring programs. It also wants to increase interaction, collaboration, and investment among the public, private and academic sectors.

Among its other goals to remedy the situation:

  • Increase affordable housing near the existing medtech operations;

  • Create quality jobs in low-income neighborhoods;

  • Redevelop brownfields for medical innovation and manufacturing;

  • More state and industry money to promote medtech trade;

  • A study to identify financing issues, plus investment tax credits and guaranteed loan programs.

The Greater MSP region boasts the second lowest operating costs among the top 15 life science markets in the U.S. It should continue to improve their resource efficiency as well as reduce the environmental and social footprint of manufacturing and supply chain activities, according to a statement from the Minnesota organization.

Each of the designees has a dedicated federal liaison to help it navigate available federal resources and appear on a government website for private investors looking for information on communities' competitive attributes, according to a U.S. Economic Development Administration statement about the Investing in Manufacturing Communities Partnership Program.

Nancy Crotti is a contributor to Qmed and MPMN.

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About the Author(s)

Nancy Crotti

Nancy Crotti is a frequent contributor to MD+DI. Reach her at [email protected].

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