Some up-and-coming medtech hubs, like Cleveland, may soon join the major players on the medical device scene.

September 2, 2011

2 Min Read
New Medtech Hubs Are on the Rise in the United States

The idea of growing a medical device hub (or "cluster," if you prefer, in case the word "hub" triggers flashbacks to soul-deadening layovers in Denver) may seem a bit old-fashioned; after all, we've being conditioned by decades of globalization to expect supply chains that stretch from one corner of the planet to the other. However, as is often the case, what was once old-fashioned is now new-fashioned. You already know about the established medtech hubs (California, Massachusetts, Minneapolis), but, as MPMN editor-in-chief Shana Leonard discusses in this interesting blog post, there are several up-and-coming regions around the nation hoping to put themselves on the medical device map.

Cleveland could become a medical device hub.

Cleveland may soon be known for more than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Source: iStock.

Again, this is contrary to what we've been conditioned to expect, but localized clusters may be the wave of the future, especially considering the relative dearth of manufacturing activity in this country currently. If, like me, you enjoy speculating about things to come, you'll like Shana's post, where she posits four states that could muscle out (or at least join) the Big Three: Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, and Texas.

As a former resident of the Rust Belt, I am particularly interested in the idea that medtech could fire up the dormant manufacturing engines of once mighty industrial meccas like Ohio and Michigan. And I am particularly heartened that (SPOILER ALERT) Shana sees Ohio (specifically the Cleveland area) as the most likely of those states to become a true medtech power. I don't think I'll be moving back anytime soon, but, you know, it's good to see the old hometown generating some positive buzz. However, Cleveland has seen some "Cleveland comebacks" that,  well, came and went without, unfortunately, having much of an impact in the long run. 

So I suppose I'm cautiously optimistic. What do you think? Will we see new medtech hubs crop up (and stay up) in the coming years, or is globalization still ultimately going to shape how the industry develops?

Thomas Blair

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