A potential analysis confirms that the region has many strengths and development options within the technology and health cluster. The aim is to develop a strategy that will support regional stakeholders to help shape the medicine of the future and boost transformation. Artificial intelligence, robotics and engineering are to bring about improvements in personalised treatment.
STUTTGART: BioRegio STERN Management GmbH is keen to work with Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS) to develop a technology and health cluster. It was with this in mind that BioRegio STERN commissioned consultancy company Capgemini to conduct a potential analysis. The results of the analysis identified both strengths and opportunities that are particularly generated by bringing together the health sector and industry. Interviews and workshops with decision-makers from hospitals and the care sector, biotech and medtech companies, engineering firms and research institutes provided a sound basis not only for identifying strengths and opportunities, but also for deriving concrete recommendations for action.
Strengths and opportunities
One of the strengths of the Stuttgart region is its clinical environment, with its intense focus on patients, medical care and research. The key life sciences technologies of artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics – with a particular focus on personalised medicine – are also well represented in the region. What’s more, the region of Stuttgart boasts highly inventive and internationally renowned engineering specialists.
Opportunities are generated by forging links between the engineering and health sectors with the help of existing and established network structures. The industrialisation of personalised medicine, which has so far taken place in factories, can be advanced further with the help of expertise from the worlds of mechanical engineering, automation and sensor technology. The aim is to go on developing expertise that will make healthcare for the broader public affordable – such as intelligent plasters that can recognise blood sugar or dehydration, or skin screening using intelligent apps. Another equally important area is helping elderly people retain their independence, such as by utilising sensors in walls or floor tiles that assess the risk of a person losing their balance, for example, by checking the symmetry of their gait.
Recommendations for action
„It is important to seize all these opportunities so that the region helps shape the medicine of the future,“ explains Dr. Klaus Eichenberg, Managing Director of BioRegio STERN. Some of the recommendations for action that Capgemini and Dr. Eichenberg derived from the analysis relate to the networking and integration of health data so that all relevant data can be put to use. Another recommendation is that a medical study centre should be set up as a contact point and coordination hub for projects relating to medicine, science and business.
Dr. Alexander Lahl, Regional Director of Verband Region Stuttgart and member of the Supervisory Board of BioRegio STERN, emphasises: „The combination of strengths provided by the technology and health cluster, industry and technological flair for invention in this region is unique in Europe. That offers huge development potential and we ought to seize this as a matter of urgency given the current process of transformation. That is what we want to push forward, in partnership with BioRegio STERN and Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH.“
Dr. Walter Rogg, Managing Director of Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH, adds: „We want to help industrial companies that have been particularly affected by the transformation to tap into new business sectors. For example, we believe the ever-growing health market offers an opportunity for industrial players to offer technical solutions for this sector and thus make up for dwindling sales in other areas.“
About BioRegio STERN Management GmbH:
BioRegio STERN Management GmbH promotes economic development in the life sciences industry, helping to strengthen the region as a business location by supporting innovations and start-up companies in the public interest. It is the main point of contact for company founders and entrepreneurs in the Stuttgart and Neckar-Alb regions, including the cities of Tübingen and Reutlingen.
The STERN BioRegion is one of the largest and most successful bioregions in Germany. Its unique selling points include a mix of biotech and medtech companies that is outstanding in Germany and regional clusters in the fields of automation technology and mechanical engineering.